|Volume 8 (2006/2007), ISSUE 13 (YEARLY)
BUILDING SOCIAL AND POLITICAL TRUST: THE ROLE OF CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
There has been growing interest in the concept of trust by both academics and regulatory authorities. This has been prompted by empirical work showing large declines in trust over the last few decades. However, how trust is developed is not well understood. Robert Putnam, the prominent social capital theorist, maintains that civic engagement is a key factor in the building of social trust and social capital. This study examines the role of civic engagement in building both social trust and political trust through the lens of the competing rational choice and socio-psychological theoretical perspectives. Analysis of a survey of a random sample of Australian citizens shows little support for civic engagement in the building of trust.
Social Trust - Political Trust - Social Capital - Civic Engagement
Jenny JOB is a PhD student at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, examining the development of trust and its generalization to government and government organizations. She is an Australian Commonwealth public servant now working in the Department of Transport and Regional Services, and previously in the Australian Taxation Office. Jenny’s research interests include trust, social capital, responsive regulation, staff adaptation to change, ethics in government and government organizations, and the cash economy.
This article is a revised version of a paper presented at the Second International Conference of The Social Capital Foundation, Buggiba, Republic of Malta, 20-23 September 2005.
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