Enlisting the support of trusted sources to tackle policy problems: the case of anti-microbial resistance

This project tests the effects of trusted sources on citizens' trust in governments and policy.

Enlisting the support of trusted sources to tackle policy problems: the case of anti-microbial resistance


Overview

What effect do trusted sources have on support for policy reforms? At a time when trust in government is declining and social problems are becoming more complex it is likely that government will have to enlist the support of representatives of more trusted institutions to secure support for policy reforms. This research tests to what extent trusted sources can alter attitudes towards regulating the use of antibiotics through the use of survey experiment.

Publications

Martin, Aaron; Gravelle, Timothy B.; Baekkeskov, Erik; Lewis, Jenny and Kashima, Yoshi. “Enlisting the support of trusted sources to tackle policy problems: The case of antimicrobial resistance,” in Gualano, Maria Rosaria (ed.,). PLoS ONE 14(3): e0212993, March 21, 2019.

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance represents one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Governments around the world have – and will continue to – develop policy proposals to deal with this problem. However, the capacity of government will be constrained by very low levels of trust in government. This stands in contrast to ‘medical scientists’ who are highly trusted by the public. This article tests to what extent trusted sources can alter attitudes towards a policy proposal to regulate the use of antibiotics. We find that respondents are much more likely to support a policy put forward by ‘medical scientists.’ This article provides some initial evidence that medical scientists could be used to gain support for policies to tackle pressing policy challenges such as Antimicrobial resistance (AMR).