Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

Major Professor

David J. Houston

Committee Members

Anthony J. Nownes, Patricia K. Freeland, Robert Emmet Jones


How do levels of confidence in the public service differ across countries? Are these attitudes about the public service determined by similar individual-level attributes across countries? Do country-level correlates explain variation between countries in citizen attitudes toward the public service? Data from the 2005-2009 World Values Survey for 21 North American and Eurasian countries, in addition to aggregate-level measures of national context, are analyzed using multilevel binary logistic regression.

The study shows that there is a significant amount of variation in the confidence attitudes not only within each country but also across countries. Citizens of Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and Finland are the most positive about the public service. On the other hand, citizens of Poland, Slovenia, and Moldova are the most critical. At the individual-level, it is reported that age, government employee status, interpersonal trust, and confidence towards other government institutions are positively correlated with confidence in the public service. At the aggregate-level, variation in the level of confidence in the public service across countries is correlated with the quality of governmental institutions and the extent of corruption.

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