Trust, Distrust and the Legitimacy of Government

Providing the first general theory of how trust and distrust condition our obligations – to each other and government.

In 2017, the Edelman Trust Barometer declared that ‘trust is in crisis around the world’. Trust in government has collapsed to record lows, precipitating populist events around the world. In public discussion, this distrust is thought to be so worrying because it corrodes the very legitimacy of government, even if democratic. This intuition, however, goes unexamined in political theory. This project fills the gap, providing the first general theory of how trust and distrust condition our obligations – to each other and government. It transcends disciplinary boundaries, drawing upon sociology, psychology, law and political science.

Expected outputs: three academic articles

Project Info

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