Sociology Scholar in Residence February-March 2009 Hungary

Bakonyi Eszter

Trust in Central and Eastern Europe after the regime change in 1989-1990

Eszter is PhD student in Sociology and a graduate student in Translation Studies and Interpretation at the Corvinus University Budapest. She works for an opinion poll institute. Her research topic is trust in Central and Eastern Europe after the regime change in 1989-1990, with a special focus on attitudes towards democratic institutions in Hungary.

Trust in Financial Institutions in the Salzburg Region during the Financial Crisis
Economic actors can play an important role in overcoming the present financial crisis and in reducing the factors which can make this crisis long-term and seriously deep for certain social groups. The European Union did not act unanimously to the crisis, the governments of the Member States use different strategies to handle the situation in their country. This fact makes it possible for economic actors to take into consideration the local cultural patterns when elaborating economic and social packages to solve the problem.

Financial analysts emphasize the role of psychology in financial trends. Banks in many countries have lost public trust as a consequence of the credit crunch started from the U.S. This loss of trust hinders the banks to collect more deposits to finance their activities. In this situation, banks need to react to this change of public opinions and build up again public trust towards financial institutions in the society. To reach this aim, we need accurate scientific researches on the citizens’ attitudes towards financial institutions and we should also explore the content of public trust in this field.

During her stay in Salzburg Eszter Bakonyi conducted an opinion poll by organizing citizen meetings. Using both, quantitative and qualitative methods, she explored the local characteristics of public trust or distrust towards financial institutions.