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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of theory relating participation in voluntary associations to increased levels of trust. It highlights theory that explains how trust is generalized to individuals outside of associations, theory that distinguishes among types of associations in their ability to produce generalized trust, and additional theory that refutes these claims. The chapter also introduces new theory that combines the two most common distinctions—bridging versus bonding associations and connected versus isolated associations. The end of the chapter documents how each of the theories and mechanisms have been supported, challenged, or neglected in existing empirical evidence and concludes with recommendations for how to test theories on trust and participation moving forward.

Keywords: trust, generalized trust, associations, participation, bridging, bonding, connected, isolated

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