Trust, social capital, civil society, and democracy
International Political Science Review, 22, (2), . (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 (1) an overlap between social and political trust, (2) a syndrome of trust and membership of voluntary organizations, and (3) 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.
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