Twenty years after German reunification, surveys have persistently uncovered differences in political trust between the eastern and western parts of the country. Studies have offered disintegrated and inconclusive assessments of the cross-regional variation. This variation is traced to a tenacious, retrospective sympathy for socialism steeped in political socialisation and experiential learning. Empirical analyses confirm the presence of two key effects. First, retrospective evaluations of socialism not only fuel popular distrust of political institutions, but are more strongly correlated with trust in the east.
- German reunification