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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

From a modernization perspective, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America—two of the poorest regions in the world—conform to one another in that citizens of both regions express very low levels of horizontal, generalized interpersonal trust. Indeed, these two regions are among the least trusting societies in the world. Both are low in terms of “bridging” trust, and both also have high degrees of particularized “bonding” trust. However, these regions differ sharply with respect to vertical, institutional trust. People in sub-Saharan Africa express relatively high levels of trust in national institutions; and Latin Americans offer very low levels of trust, with many expressing sheer cynicism. Finally, the data at hand reveal few important linkages between levels of trust in government or the state and various facets of democratic citizenship.

Keywords: social trust, interpersonal trust, institutional trust, democracy, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America

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