Trust and Sense of Community

Oskar Niedermayer

in Public Opinion and Internationalized Governance

Published in print September 1998 | ISBN: 9780198294764
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600005 | DOI:

Series: Beliefs in Government

 Trust and Sense of Community

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This chapter begins with an explication of mutual trust as an element in Deutsch's concept of ‘sense of community’, and then examines how far it applies to the context of individual citizens’ perceptions of the European Community. It first presents an aggregate‐level analysis of the average level of trust in the people of other member countries of the EC, the salience of these other people, and the uniformity or diversity with which they are evaluated. This part of the analysis focuses on whether it is possible to speak of a sense of community within the EC and whether this sense is increasing over time. Secondly, it presents an individual‐level analysis examining the average level of trust which individuals in a particular country have in the peoples of the other member states taken as a whole, the salience of these other peoples, and the uniformity or diversity of these evaluations. This part focuses on the factors which influence individual levels of trust in the other peoples of the EC, and attempts to identify the groups which are fostering the development of a sense of community.

Keywords: European Community; public opinion; sense of community; trust

Chapter.  7060 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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