Stability or change of public opinion and values during the coronavirus crisis? Exploring Dutch longitudinal panel data

Tim Reeskens*, Quita Muis, Inge Sieben, Leen Vandecasteele, Ruud Luijkx, Loek Halman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Some participants of the public debate have argued that the world before and after the coronavirus crisis will look fundamentally different. An underlying assumption is that this crisis will alter public opinion in such a way that it leads to profound societal and political change. Scholarship suggests that while some policy preferences are quite volatile and prone to change under the influence of crises, core values formed during childhood are likely to remain stable. In this article, we test stability or change of a well-selected set of opinions and values before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We rely on a unique longitudinal panel study whereby the Dutch fieldwork of the European Values Study 2017 web survey serves as a baseline; respondents were re-approached in May 2020. The findings indicate that values remain largely stable. However, there is an increase in political support, confirming the so-called rally effect. We conclude our manuscript with a response to the futurists expecting changes in public opinion because of the coronavirus crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Societies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Keywords

  • Coronavirus crisis
  • European Values Study
  • Kendall's tau-b
  • POLICY
  • TRUST
  • panel data
  • public opinion
  • values stability

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