Citizens' perceptions of standards in public life

Rose, Jonathan (2012) Citizens' perceptions of standards in public life. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.



This thesis analyses citizens' perceptions of standards in public life. It attempts to understand whether perceptions such as these are important substantively for questions of citizen disaffection, and begins the task of analyzing how citizens come to hold the perceptions they do. The thesis presents a systematic investigation into this topic, placing perceived standards in the context of a discussion about citizen disaffection and the perceived legitimacy of political systems. As they are conceived of in this thesis, 'standards in public life' can usefully be thought of as the 'rules of the game' or the 'spirit of public service'. Standards in public life are less a set of formal, prescriptive rules, more an exhortation to the appropriate exercise of public office. Such a focus upon the 'rules of the game' results in the primary concern of this thesis being about the process of governing, as opposed to the outcomes governors can produce.

The thesis investigates perceptions of standards in two parts. Part 1 considers broad questions of the conceptualisation, measurement and structure of citizen beliefs about government in general, and perceptions of standards in particular. The findings of Part 1 therefore provide a base upon which future analyses can be built. Part 2 investigates the causes of perceptions of standards, focusing upon three aspects of political ‘conditions’: partisan co-alignment, the ‘scandal’ concerning Derek Conway’s use of parliamentary expenses to employ his son to do essentially no work, and the MPs’ expenses scandal.

The analyses in this thesis are primarily quantitative, and investigate a series of four datasets, which contain data collected in the United Kingdom between 2003 and 2011.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:van der Eijk, C.
McLaren, L.
Hawthorne, P.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Trust, Public Ethics, Standards in Public Life
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
ID Code:2575
Deposited By:Dr Jonathan Rose
Deposited On:06 Sep 2012 11:13
Last Modified:06 Sep 2012 11:13

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