SELF GOVERNANCE: What does it mean?

Posted on March 8, 2017 • Category: Government and Politics


The World Values Survey has measured people’s values and beliefs, how they change over time and what social and political impact they have had since 1981. The research finds that people are worried about more than economics. Issues of culture, identity, tradition and values dominate the rhetoric of populist candidates today and the response of citizens.

CFA has been looking at a broad array of social and political issues since 2009:

10% Arizonans who believe their elected officials represent their interests. When asked what leadership skills citizens most value, they indicated that leaders must be able to understand complex issues and be willing to work across party lines.
Center for the Future of Arizona, Gallup Arizona Poll, October 2009

This result and other findings from the Gallup survey made it possible for CFA to identify a key citizen goal of The Arizona We Want.

Goal 7: Empower citizens and increase their civic involvement in all aspects of the political process.

More recently:
81% Americans who say you can’t trust government to do “what is right all or most of the time.” Public distrust has been increasing since 1964 when it was at an all-time low of 23%.
Pew Research Center, Trust in Government: 1958-2015, Nov 23, 2015
24% U.S. millennials who consider democracy to be a “bad” or “very bad” way of running the country.
The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2016 Democracy Index
56% Americans who trust the people of our nation to make decisions about our future, down 20% since 2004.
Gallup Analytics, U.S. Daily Tracking, Sept 2016

The growing lack of confidence and trust that people nationwide have in institutions and themselves creates a challenge for America’s future as a democracy.

Who do Americans trust?




Americans have lost faith in institutions. That’s not because of Trump or "fake news."  
The Washington Post, March 3, 2017

Stay Connected

Subscribe today and stay up to date by receiving AZ Snapshot by email.

Subscribe to AZ Snapshot >

Lattie F. Coor

My Perspective

When CFA set out to build a citizens' agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national struggle to address the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways, Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of the Gallup Arizona Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens. CFA is now in the process of building Arizona Progress Meters for each of the 8 citizen goals defined by the people who live here. The culmination of these goals is The Arizona We Want.

The Arizona We Want is a long-term vision and it can be achieved if we work together.

Learn More about how CFA is activating the citizens' agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.

Center for the Future of Arizona
541 East Van Buren, B-5
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2211
Phone: 602-496-1360
Contact • Map • Parking