Carina Gunnarson

in Cultural Warfare and Trust

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780719076725
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701430 | DOI:

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This book has raised the question of whether it is possible to fight persistent values of distrust and non-cooperation in Palermo. Is it possible to support the development of trust between citizens through public action from above, through civic education? A general criticism of Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work is that he neglected state agency and the Mafia in his analytical model, when explaining the lack of trust in southern Italy. This book has focused on institutional explanations and has analysed more recent political efforts to break the heritage of the past, that is, to turn the vicious circle of non-cooperation into a virtuous circle based on trust and cooperation. The primary aim of the project is to contribute to theories on social capital, and particularly to analyse whether institutions matter for the development of generalised trust. In the book, the impact of educational institutions on students' generalised trust has been explored. Letters from the Letter Project offered insights on why different variables were important, if not all of them, for students' development of generalised trust.

Keywords: Palermo; generalised trust; Mafia; cooperation; civic education; distrust; non-cooperation; social capital; Letter Project; students

Chapter.  9482 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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