The Role of Institutional Trust in Industry, Government and Regulators in Shaping Perceptions of Risk Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing in the UK

Paul Stretesky*, Damien Short, Laurence Stamford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study draws upon concepts of institutional trust and expendability to examine perceptions of risk associated with hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking.’ To study trust and risk, we collected data from a nationally representative sample of UK residents and analyzed it using multivariate regression. Perceptions of trust are measured for the oil and gas industry, central government, local government and regulators while perceived risks are measured for seismicity, water quality and hydraulic fracturing in general. Participants with high levels of trust in the oil and gas industry tend to perceive lower levels of risk associated with hydraulic
fracturing. Levels of government and regulator trust are, however, largely unrelated to perceived risks. Importantly, trust in the oil and gas industry appears to mediate the relationship between political affiliation and perceptions of risk. Implications for theories of recreancy and environmental justice perspectives are explored.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Perspectives
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Aug 2022

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