Researcher Maurits Meijers (Political Science) recently received a 'NWO Open Competition XS' grant. He is using this grant, intended for researchers with innovative and promising ideas, to conduct research into whether and how lies in the political arena impact citizens' attitudes toward democracy.
"The aim of the project is to understand how citizens in the Netherlands experience lying politicians," the political scientist explains. "Recently, several politicians have been accused of lying. Consider, for example, Rutte, who repeatedly claimed not to have an 'active memory' of certain issues."
When do citizens think politicians are lying and when are they not? "The project aims to understand that," says Meijers. "Is it due to the nature of the statement, the topic, or is it due to sympathy with the politician or politician in question?" In addition to that, the project examines whether lying politicians have an impact on citizens' trust in democracy: "If citizens are confronted with lying politicians, are they more likely to distrust liberal democracy?"
The project will have a duration of one year.