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Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-Communist Europe$
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Ivana Markova

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263136

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263136.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.132) (p.133) 7 Diffuse Trust or Diffuse Analysis? The Specificity of Political Distrust in Post-Communist Europe
Source:
Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-Communist Europe
Author(s):

William L. Miller

Tatyana Y. Koshechkina

ÅSE B. GRØDELAND

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263136.003.0007

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

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