Collaborative Research: U.S. institutions after COVID-19: Trust, accountability, and public perceptions

Project: Research project

Project Details


COVID-19 upended social, economic, and political systems throughout the world. The United States has faced particular challenges for at least three reasons. First, the U.S. is extremely heterogeneous in terms of social groups and economic inequities. The pandemic divided the country leaving the well-off to create microcosm worlds shielded from first-hand visions of the pandemic’s impact while leaving others vulnerable to the disease, and in dire situations due to dense living conditions and business shutdowns. These divides overlap with racial ones that also resurrect histories of medical abuse relevant to vaccination. Second, the federal nature of the U.S. led to dramatically uneven policy responses across states, resulting in huge variations in the impact across space. Third, perhaps more than any other country, COVID-19 became politicized in the U.S., dividing Democrats and Republicans at both the elite and mass levels. This division was accentuated by the 2020 presidential election and the concomitant challenges to democratic norms. This proposal leverages the National Science Foundation supported COVID States project, a large-scale data collection that includes over-time data from diverse state-level samples. The project will study the post-pandemic consequences on trust in institutions, information acquisition and misinformation, democratic accountability, and economic inequality. It also will hold a competition for proposals from researchers throughout the social sciences; researchers will be invited to add items to ongoing surveys that build on the extant data with the goal of addressing pressing questions of theoretical and contemporary importance.
Effective start/end date12/1/2111/30/23


  • National Science Foundation (SES-2116465)


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