Living in an Age of Mistrust
An Interdisciplinary Study of Declining Trust and How to Get it Back
Trust is a concept familiar to most. Whether we are cognizant of it or not, we experience it on a daily basis. Yet trust is quickly eroding in civic and political life. Americans’ trust in their government has reached all-time lows. The political and social consequences of this decline in trust are profound. What are the foundations of trust? What explains its apparent decline in society? Is there a way forward for rebuilding trust in our leaders and institutions? How should we study the role of trust across a diverse range of policy issues and problems?
Given its complexity, trust as an object of study cannot be claimed by any single discipline. Rather than vouch for an overarching theory of trust, Living in an Age of Mistrust synthesizes existing perspectives across multiple disciplines to offer a truly comprehensive examination of this concept and a topic of research. Using an analytical framework that encompasses rational and cultural (or sociological) dimensions of trust, the contributions found therein provide a wide range of policy issues both domestic and international to explore the apparent decline in trust, its impact on social and political life, and efforts to rebuild trust.
Table of Contents
Part I: Foundations of Trust
1. Trust: An Analytical Framework for Contemporary Policy Problems
2. Thin or Thick? Reflections on Trust from a Catholic Social Thought Perspective
3. Families and Trust-building in Infants and Children
Part II: Trust and Minority Groups
4. A Mimetic Perspective on Trust
5. Trust and Minority Groups: The Challenge of Diversity
6. Cascading Trust Among Ethnic Groups: Lesson from Contemporary Hispanic Migration
Part III: Trust and Institutions
7. How Mistrust within Government Can Create Mistrust Without
8. Trust and Organized Labor in the United States: A Genealogy
9. The Collapse of Trust in the European Union
Part IV: Trust, Diplomacy, and Peace-Building
10.Trust and Catholic Peacebuilding in Ghana
11.Two-Level Trust Games in Japan-South Korea Relations12. Trust within NATO
Andrew I. Yeo is Associate Professor of Politics, Director of Asian Studies, and a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests (Cambridge 2011), and is completing two book manuscripts: the first on the evolution of East Asia’s regional architecture, and a second co-edited book on North Korean human rights and transnational advocacy. He is the recipient of Catholic University’s Outstanding Young Faculty Research Award in 2013 and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Matthew N. Green is Associate Professor of Politics a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America. Dr. Green is author of Underdog Politics: The Minority Party in the U.S. House of Representatives and The Speaker of the House: A Study of Leadership, both published by Yale University Press. He is also a coauthor of Washington 101: An Introduction to the Nation’s Capital. He served as President of the National Capital Area Political Science Association in 2015-16. He has a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a MA and MPhil from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from Yale University.
'Trust is thought to be the glue that holds society, domestic and international, together. But we have reason to think that trust is declining. This book offers thoughts by a remarkable variety of scholars on the role of trust in different collectivities, institutions and relationships and what to expect if it starts to fade. This is an excellent example of interdisciplinary collaboration on crucial social problems.' - Brian Rathbun, University of Southern California
'Covering a broad range of political questions and contexts, this interdisciplinary collection admirably coheres around a concept of trust that is relational and thus variable by time, location, and political context. Demonstrating the challenges that declining trust poses locally, nationally, and internationally, Living in an Age of Mistrust merits attention from students, scholars, and anyone interested in nurturing the bonds of trust to address problems of policymaking, community building, and international cooperation.' - Douglas Harris, Loyola University Maryland