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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the relevance of social trust for governance in areas of limited statehood (ALS), especially to compensate for the lack of third-party enforcement. To capture the forms of trust in a variety of societies from small-scale communities to larger social entities, we differentiate between personalized, particularized, and generalized trust. Empirical and theoretical literature from different disciplines suggests that trust facilitates social cooperation and enables collective action at all levels. While particularized trust tends to have exclusionary effects though, and generalized trust is almost absent in ALS, inclusive forms of trust might emerge from bridging collective identities and everyday experiences of impartiality and fairness. We conclude that governance initiatives can help spreading trust, particularly by promoting universal values through service-providing institutions like schools and hospitals. Existing trust relations, in turn, can serve as facilitators of effective and legitimate governance in ALS.

Keywords: trust, collective agency, diversity, reputation, nation-building, universal values, inclusion, exclusion

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