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

Paul Stretesky*, Damien Short, Laurence Stamford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

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 U.K. 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 are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Article number073112142211258
Pages (from-to)496-522
Number of pages27
JournalSociological Perspectives
Volume66
Issue number3
Early online date22 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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