Papathanassopoulos, S., Armenakis, A., Karadimitriou, A. (2022). The Greeks and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Assessing the Credibility and Effectiveness of the Main Social Institutions and Public Sphere Players
Papathanassopoulos, S., Armenakis, A., Karadimitriou, A. (2022). The Greeks and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Assessing the Credibility and Effectiveness of the Main Social Institutions and Public Sphere Players. In: Maarek, P.J. (eds) Manufacturing Government Communication on Covid-19 . Springer Studies in Media and Political Communication. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-09230-5_14
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the resilience of society’s institutions in many parts of the world. In Greece, where trust in social-political institutions had been tested several times in the past, the coronavirus pandemic was a new context in which their effectiveness was challenged, when the government was forced to make crucial policy decisions and impose unprecedented restrictive measures in the name of the common good. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to an interesting paradox: while the first wave of the health crisis (March–April 2020) was characterized by citizens’ renewed faith in major social and political institutions, with an increase in feelings of optimism, security, and certainty, in the second lockdown period (November–December 2020) the switch in the public’s positive assessment of political actors and institutions was so radical that it affected—to a certain extent—even the supporters of the government coming from the Center-right or far-right/Right of the political spectrum. Based on an online survey, conducted during the first and second lockdown periods, this comparative research investigates, Greek citizens’ viewpoints about key institutions of society (the Government, the Opposition, the Church, and European Bodies) and major players in the public sphere (the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, and specialized scientists), all actively engaged in managing the pandemic emergency. The research findings confirm the hypothesis that in turbulent times citizens’ favorable attitude towards society’s institutions is directly related to the degree of public awareness and recognition of the effectiveness of the policy measures aimed at containing the (health) crisis.