Chapter

Diffuse Trust or Diffuse Analysis? The Specificity of Political Distrust in Post-Communist Europe

William L. Miller, Tatyana Y. Koshechkina and ÅSE B. GRØDELAND

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263136.003.0007

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Diffuse Trust or Diffuse Analysis? The Specificity of Political Distrust in Post-Communist Europe

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Political theorists claim that political trust is located on the continuum that runs from blind faith to enforceable contract. Trust ‘as passion’ borders on blind faith, while trust ‘as calculation’ comes close to enforceable contract. More often located between these extremes, political trust is usually a mix of faith and calculation, varying from largely irrational responses to the charisma of political leaders to largely calculated ‘bets on the actions of others’. This chapter discusses political distrust in post-Communist Europe and looks at four broad categories of potential influences (all negative) on political trust: distrustful citizens, untrustworthy institutions, discordance between citizens and government, and hard times. It also examines incompetence, scandal, dishonesty, and corruption; responsiveness and fairness; the untrustworthiness of elected and unelected officials; and the unfairness that citizens perceive or actually experience.

Keywords: post-Communist Europe; political trust; political distrust; untrustworthiness; discordance; hard times; incompetence; scandal; dishonesty; corruption

Chapter.  8222 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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