Institutional trustworthiness and national security governance: Evidence from six European countries

Kirstie Ball, Sara Degli Esposti, Sally Dibb, Vincenzo Pavone, Elvira Santiago-Gomez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)


    This article examines the relationship between the institutional trustworthiness of security agencies in the context of data-intensive security practices. It focuses on the public's acceptance of the way digital surveillance technologies feed into large-scale security data analytics. Using the case of deep packet inspection (DPI), survey data gathered in six European countries (n = 1,202) demonstrates that security agencies' institutional trustworthiness directly and indirectly influences public acceptance of DPI. Against a backdrop of declining public trust in government and a climate of intense international terrorist threat, governments around the world are appealing to citizens to trade privacy for enhanced security. This article supports calls for security agencies and their respective governments to engage with the democratic process to enrich security and privacy at all levels of public security governance and for the common good.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-121
    Number of pages19
    JournalGovernance: An International Journal of Policy Administration and Institutions
    Issue number1
    Early online date27 Aug 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ball, K, Degli Esposti, S, Dibb, S, Pavone, V & Santiago-Gomez, E 2018, 'Institutional trustworthiness and national security governance: Evidence from six European countries' Governance, vol. 32 (1), pp. 103-121, which has been published in final form at
    This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


    FP7 Security, Grant/Award Number: SurPRISE (Surveillance, Privacy, Security) Grant A


    • trustworthiness
    • security agencies
    • surveillance
    • deep packet inspection
    • Public attitudes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Public Administration
    • Marketing


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