Trust, social capital, civil society, and democracy

Newton, Kenneth (2001) Trust, social capital, civil society, and democracy. International Political Science Review, 22, (2), 201-214. (doi:10.1177/0192512101222004).


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The importance of trust has long been emphasised by social and political theorists from Locke and Tocqueville to Putnam and civil society theorists. However, individual survey data casts substantial doubt on this powerful tradition of thought.

There is little evidence of an overlap between social and political trust, a syndrome of trust and membership of voluntary organizations, and the existence of trusting/distrusting dispositions among individuals. However, at the aggregate national level there is evidence to support the theory, and the author concludes that the classic theory is correct but needs modification and qualification.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1177/0192512101222004
ISSNs: 0192-5121 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: civil society, democracy, political capital, social capital, trust
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
ePrint ID: 34517
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:01

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