Introduction: Trust/Risk and Trust/Fear

Ivana Marková

in Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-Communist Europe

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263136
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734922 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Introduction: Trust/Risk and Trust/Fear

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It is not so long ago that Niklas Luhmann (1988) wrote that the study of trust has never been a topic in mainstream sociology, and others have echoed this claim with reference to other social sciences. Curiously, deep insights of Georg Simmel (1858–1918) on trust have been largely ignored or have been remembered only in minor references. Since the 1980s and 1990s, the subject of trust has become, quite suddenly, a theme of the day. Social and political scientists have embarked on this topic, posing theoretical and empirical questions. This book is concerned with trust/distrust in post-Communist Europe after the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989. It raises questions about trust and democracy, and how history, culture, and social psychology shape the nature and development of political phenomena. In this introduction, trust and different forms of rationality are discussed, along with trust/risk and trust/fear, mutual distrust and public security, socialization into fear, arbitrariness of decisions in a totalitarian regime, trust and legitimacy, and abuse of common sense.

Keywords: socialization; trust; risk; fear; post-Communist Europe; democracy; history; culture; social psychology; legitimacy

Chapter.  8968 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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