Chic Ironic Bitterness
R. Jay Magill, Jr. University of Michigan Press, 2007 Library of Congress E169.12.M15 2007 | Dewey Decimal 973
A brilliant and timely reflection on irony in contemporary American culture
“This book is a powerful and persuasive defense of sophisticated irony and subtle humor that contributes to the possibility of a genuine civic trust and democratic life. R. Jay Magill deserves our congratulations for a superb job!”
—Cornel West, University Professor, Princeton University
“A well-written, well-argued assessment of the importance of irony in contemporary American social life, along with the nature of recent misguided attacks and, happily, a deep conviction that irony is too important in our lives to succumb. The book reflects wide reading, varied experience, and real analytical prowess.”
—Peter Stearns, Provost, George Mason University
“Somehow, Americans—a pragmatic and colloquial lot, for the most part—are now supposed to speak the Word, without ironic embellishment, in order to rebuild the civic culture. So irony’s critics decide it has become ‘worthy of moral condemnation.’ Magill pushes back against this new conventional wisdom, eloquently defending a much livelier American sensibility than the many apologists for a somber ‘civic culture’ could ever acknowledge."
—William Chaloupka, Chair and Professor, Department of Political Science, Colorado State University
The events of 9/11 had many pundits on the left and right scrambling to declare an end to the Age of Irony. But six years on, we're as ironic as ever. From The Simpsons and Borat to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the ironic worldview measures out a certain cosmopolitan distance, keeping hypocrisy and threats to personal integrity at bay.
Chic Ironic Bitterness is a defense of this detachment, an attitude that helps us preserve values such as authenticity, sincerity, and seriousness that might otherwise be lost in a world filled with spin, marketing, and jargon. And it is an effective counterweight to the prevailing conservative view that irony is the first step toward cynicism and the breakdown of Western culture.
R. Jay Magill, Jr., is a writer and illustrator whose work has appeared in American Prospect, American Interest, Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Print, amongother periodicals and books. A former Harvard Teaching Fellow and Executive Editor of DoubleTake, he holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hamburg in Germany. This is his first book.
Activists and historians reflect together on the civil rights movement and its meanings, and on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee's place in American history.
"The reminiscences and reflections voiced at the SNCC reunion remind us of the remarkable vision and courageous dedication of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Framed by Cheryl Greenberg's eloquent and probing introduction, the SNCC veterans' comments about the triumphs and limitations of their movement represent a major contribution to the historical literature on race and power in modern America."--Raymond Arsenault, University of South Florida
On the occasion of the SNCC's 25th anniversary, more than 500 people gathered at Trinity College in Connecticut to both celebrate and critique its accomplishments. More than 40 SNCC members tell their stories and reflect on the contributions, limits and legacies of the movement in A Circle of Trust. Engaging in spirited debate with each other, with historians of the movement, and with contemporary political culture more broadly, these former and perpetual activists speak of their vision of a just society and what still remains to be done. With increasing racial tension and the continued debate over integration and separatism in America in the 1990s, the content of this conference is more relevant than ever.
Cheryl Lynn Greenberg begins with an overview of SNCC and introduces each of the chapters of oral history. Participants explore the origins of SNCC, its early adoption of nonviolent protest, its ultimate renunciation of liberal integration and embrace of militant black radicalism, its refusal to repudiate far-left organizations, and controversies over the roles of women in SNCC and society at large. The result is a thoughtful, moving, sometimes acrimonious, sometimes celebratory account of one of the most significant civil rights organizations and its successes and failures.
Cooperation Without Trust?
Karen S. Cook Russell Sage Foundation, 2005 Library of Congress HM1111.C666 2005 | Dewey Decimal 302.14
Some social theorists claim that trust is necessary for the smooth functioning of a democratic society. Yet many recent surveys suggest that trust is on the wane in the United States. Does this foreshadow trouble for the nation? In Cooperation Without Trust? Karen Cook, Russell Hardin, and Margaret Levi argue that a society can function well in the absence of trust. Though trust is a useful element in many kinds of relationships, they contend that mutually beneficial cooperative relationships can take place without it. Cooperation Without Trust? employs a wide range of examples illustrating how parties use mechanisms other than trust to secure cooperation. Concerns about one's reputation, for example, could keep a person in a small community from breaching agreements. State enforcement of contracts ensures that business partners need not trust one another in order to trade. Similarly, monitoring worker behavior permits an employer to vest great responsibility in an employee without necessarily trusting that person. Cook, Hardin, and Levi discuss other mechanisms for facilitating cooperation absent trust, such as the self-regulation of professional societies, management compensation schemes, and social capital networks. In fact, the authors argue that a lack of trust—or even outright distrust—may in many circumstances be more beneficial in creating cooperation. Lack of trust motivates people to reduce risks and establish institutions that promote cooperation. A stout distrust of government prompted America's founding fathers to establish a system in which leaders are highly accountable to their constituents, and in which checks and balances keep the behavior of government officials in line with the public will. Such institutional mechanisms are generally more dependable in securing cooperation than simple faith in the trustworthiness of others. Cooperation Without Trust? suggests that trust may be a complement to governing institutions, not a substitute for them. Whether or not the decline in trust documented by social surveys actually indicates an erosion of trust in everyday situations, this book argues that society is not in peril. Even if we were a less trusting society, that would not mean we are a less functional one. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Some theorists claim that democracy cannot work without trust. According to this argument, democracy fails unless citizens trust that their governing institutions are serving their best interests. Similarly, some assert that democracy works best when people trust one another and have confidence that politicians will look after citizen interests. Questioning such claims, Democracy and the Culture of Skepticism, by Matthew Cleary and Susan Stokes, suggests that skepticism, not trust, is the hallmark of political culture in well-functioning democracies. Drawing on extensive research in two developing democracies, Argentina and Mexico, Democracy and the Culture of Skepticism shows that in regions of each country with healthy democracies, people do not trust one another more than those living in regions where democracy functions less well, nor do they display more personal trust in governments or politicians. Instead, the defining features of the healthiest democracies are skepticism of government and a belief that politicians act in their constituents' best interest only when it is personally advantageous for them to do so. In contrast to scholars who lament what they see as a breakdown in civic life, Cleary and Stokes find that people residing in healthy democracies do not participate more in civic organizations than others, but in fact, tend to retreat from civic life in favor of private pursuits. The authors conclude that governments are most efficient and responsive when they know that institutions such as the press or an independent judiciary will hold them accountable for their actions. The question of how much citizens should trust politicians and governments has consumed political theorists since America's founding. In Democracy and the Culture of Skepticism, Matthew Cleary and Susan Stokes test the relationship between trust and the quality of governance, showing that it is not trust, but vigilance and skepticism that provide the foundation for well-functioning democracies. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
In Diaspora and Trust Adrian H. Hearn proposes that a new paradigm of socio-economic development is gaining importance for Cuba and Mexico. Despite their contrasting political ideologies, both countries must build new forms of trust among the state, society, and resident Chinese diaspora communities if they are to harness the potentials of China’s rise. Combining political and economic analysis with ethnographic fieldwork, Hearn analyzes Cuba's and Mexico's historical relations with China, and highlights how Chinese diaspora communities are now deepening these ties. Theorizing trust as an alternative to existing models of exchange—which are failing to navigate the world's shifting economic currents—Hearn shows how Cuba and Mexico can reformulate the balance of power between state, market, and society. A new paradigm of domestic development and foreign engagement based on trust is becoming critical for Cuba, Mexico, and other countries seeking to benefit from China’s growing economic power and social influence.
Russell Hardin Russell Sage Foundation, 2004 Library of Congress BF575.T7D57 2004 | Dewey Decimal 302.1
If trust is sometimes the rational response in interpersonal relations, then it can also be rational to distrust. Indeed, distrust is the preferred response when it protects against harm—as when parents do not entrust the safety of their child to a disreputable caretaker. Liberal political theory was largely founded on distrust of government, and the assumption that government cannot and should not be trusted led the framers of the U.S. constitution to establish a set of institutions explicitly designed to limit government power. With contributions from political science, anthropology, economics, psychology, and philosophy, Distrust examines the complex workings of trust and distrust in personal relationships, groups, and international settings. Edna Ullman-Margalit succinctly defines distrust as the negation of trust, and examines the neutral state between the two responses in interpersonal relations. As Margalit points out, people typically defer judgment—while remaining mildly wary of another's intentions—until specific grounds for trust or distrust become evident. In relations between nations, misplaced trust can lead to grievous harm, so nations may be inclined to act as though they distrust other nations more than they actually do. Editor Russell Hardin observes that the United States and the former Soviet Union secured a kind of institutionalized distrust—through the development of the nuclear deterrent system—that stabilized the relationship between the two countries for four decades. In another realm where distrust plays a prominent role, Margaret Levi, Matthew Moe, and Theresa Buckley show that since the National Labor Relations Board has not been able to overcome distrust between labor unions and employers, it strives to equalize the power held by each group in negotiations. Recapitulating liberal concerns about state power, Patrick Troy argues that citizen distrust keeps government regulation under scrutiny and is more beneficial to the public than unconditional trust. Despite the diversity of contexts examined, the contributors reach remarkably similar conclusions about the important role of trust and distrust in relations between individuals, nations, and citizens and their governments. Distrust makes a significant contribution to the growing field of trust studies and provides a useful guide for further research. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
The essays in Ethics, Trust, and the Professions probe the nature of the fiduciary relationship that binds client to lawyer, believer to minister, and patient to doctor. Angles of approach include history, sociology, philosophy, and culture, and their very multiplicity reveals how difficult we find it to formulate a code of ethics which will insure a relationship of trust between the professional and the public.
There is one thing that moves online consumers to click "add to cart," that allows sellers to accept certain forms of online payment, and that makes online product reviews meaningful: trust. Without trust, online interactions can't advance. But how is trust among strangers established on the Internet? What role does reputation play in the formation of online trust? In eTrust, editors Karen Cook, Chris Snijders, Vincent Buskens, and Coye Cheshire explore the unmapped territory where trust, reputation, and online relationships intersect, with major implications for online commerce and social networking. eTrust uses experimental studies and field research to examine how trust in anonymous online exchanges can create or diminish cooperation between people. The first part of the volume looks at how feedback affects online auctions using trust experiments. Gary Bolton and Axel Ockenfels find that the availability of feedback leads to more trust among one-time buyers, while Davide Barrera and Vincent Buskens demonstrate that, in investment transactions, the buyer's own experience guides decision making about future transactions with sellers. The field studies in Part II of the book examine the degree to which reputation facilitates trust in online exchanges. Andreas Diekmann, Ben Jann, and David Wyder identify a "reputation premium" in mobile phone auctions, which not only drives future transactions between buyers and sellers but also payment modes and starting bids. Chris Snijders and Jeroen Weesie shift focus to the market for online programmers, where tough competition among programmers allows buyers to shop around. The book's third section reveals how the quality and quantity of available information influences actual marketplace participants. Sonja Utz finds that even when unforeseen accidents hinder transactions—lost packages, computer crashes—the seller is still less likely to overcome repercussions from the negative feedback of dissatisfied buyers. So much of our lives are becoming enmeshed with the Internet, where ordinary social cues and reputational networks that support trust in the real world simply don't apply. eTrust breaks new ground by articulating the conditions under which trust can evolve and grow online, providing both theoretical and practical insights for anyone interested in how online relationships influence our decisions. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Giving particular attention to intergovernmental working relationships, this revised edition of Federalism and Environmental Policy has been significantly updated to reflect the changes that have taken place since the highly praised first edition. Denise Scheberle examines reasons why environmental laws seldom work out exactly as planned. Casting federal-state working relationships as "pulling together," "coming apart," or somewhere in-between, she provides dozens of observations from federal and state officials. This study also suggests that implementation of environmental policy is a story of high stakes politics—a story rich with contextual factors and as fascinating as the time the policy was formulated.
As four very different environmental programs unfold—asbestos (updated to include the fallout from the World Trade Center), drinking water, radon, and surface coal mining—Scheberle demonstrates how programs evolve differently, with individual political, economic, logistical, and technical constraints. The policy implementation framework developed for the book provides the lens through which to compare environmental laws.
Federalism and Environmental Policy goes beyond the contents of policy to explore the complex web of federal-state working relationships and their effect on the implementation of policy. It is unique in how it portrays the nuts-and-bolts, the extent to which the state and federal offices work together effectively—or not. Examining working relationships within the context of program implementation and across four different environmental programs offers a unique perspective on why environmental laws sometimes go awry.
The question of whether true friendship could exist in an era of patronage occupied Renaissance Florentines as it had the ancient Greeks and Romans whose culture they admired and emulated. Rather than attempting to measure Renaissance friendship against a universal ideal defined by essentially modern notions of disinterestedness, intimacy, and sincerity, in this book Dale Kent explores the meaning of love and friendship as they were represented in the fifteenth century, particularly the relationship between heavenly and human friendship.
She documents the elements of shared experience in friendships between Florentines of various occupations and ranks, observing how these were shaped and played out in the physical spaces of the city: the streets, street corners, outdoor benches and loggias, family palaces, churches, confraternal meeting places, workshops of artisans and artists, taverns, dinner tables, and the baptismal font.
Finally, Kent examines the betrayal of trust, focusing on friends at moments of crisis or trial in which friendships were tested, and failed or endured. The exile of Cosimo de’ Medici in 1433 and his recall in 1434, the attempt in 1466 of the Medici family’s closest friends to take over their patronage network, and the Pazzi conspiracy to assassinate Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici in 1478 expose the complexity and ambivalence of Florentine friendship, a combination of patronage with mutual intellectual passion and love—erotic, platonic, and Christian—sublimely expressed in the poetry and art of Michelangelo.
Frontiers in Hardware Security and Trust provides a comprehensive review of emerging security threats and privacy protection issues, and the versatile state-of-the-art hardware-based security countermeasures and applications proposed by the hardware security community.
An enormous amount of literature exists on Greek law, economics, and political philosophy. Yet no one has written a history of trust, one of the most fundamental aspects of social and economic interaction in the ancient world. In this fresh look at antiquity, Steven Johnstone explores the way democracy and markets flourished in ancient Greece not so much through personal relationships as through trust in abstract systems—including money, standardized measurement, rhetoric, and haggling.
Focusing on markets and democratic politics, Johnstone draws on speeches given in Athenian courts, histories of Athenian democracy, comic writings, and laws inscribed on stone to examine how these systems worked. He analyzes their potentials and limitations and how the Greeks understood and critiqued them. In providing the first comprehensive account of these pervasive and crucial systems, A History of Trust in Ancient Greece links Greek political, economic, social, and intellectual history in new ways and challenges contemporary analyses of trust and civil society.
True religious faith cannot be confirmed by any external proofs. Rather, it is founded on a basic act of trust—and the common root of that trust, for Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, is a belief in the divine creation of the universe. But with Learning to Trust in Freedom, David B. Burrell asks the provocative question: How do we reach that belief, and what is it about the universe that could possibly testify to its divine origins? Even St. Augustine, he points out, could only find faith after a harrowing journey through the lures of desire—and it is that very desire that Burrell seizes on as a tool with which to explore the origin and purpose of the world. Delving deep into the intertwinings of desire and faith, and drawing on St. John of the Cross, Edith Stein, and Charles Taylor, Burrell offers a new understanding of free will, trust, and perception.
Dr. James Burt believed women’s bodies were broken, and only he could fix them. In the 1950s, this Ohio OB-GYN developed what he called “love surgery,” a unique procedure he maintained enhanced the sexual responses of a new mother, transforming her into “a horny little house mouse.” Burt did so without first getting the consent of his patients. Yet he was allowed to practice for over thirty years, mutilating hundreds of women in the process.
It would be easy to dismiss Dr. Burt as a monstrous aberration, a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein. Yet as medical historian Sarah Rodriguez reveals, that’s not the whole story. The Love Surgeon asks tough questions about Burt’s heinous acts and what they reveal about the failures of the medical establishment: How was he able to perform an untested surgical procedure? Why wasn’t he obliged to get informed consent from his patients? And why did it take his peers so long to take action?
The Love Surgeon is both a medical horror story and a cautionary tale about the limits of professional self-regulation.
Nicolas de Warren Northwestern University Press, 2020 Library of Congress BJ1476.W37 2020 | Dewey Decimal 179.9
In Original Forgiveness, Nicolas de Warren challenges the widespread assumption that forgiveness is always a response to something that has incited it. Rather than considering forgiveness exclusively in terms of an encounter between individuals or groups after injury, he argues that availability for the possibility of forgiveness represents an original forgiveness, an essential condition for the prospect of human relations. De Warren develops this notion of original forgiveness through a reflection on the indispensability of trust for human existence, as well as an examination of the refusal or unavailability to forgive in the aftermath of moral harms.
De Warren engages in a critical discussion of philosophical figures, including Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Mikhail Bakhtin, Edmund Husserl, Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean Améry, and of literary works by William Shakespeare, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Heinrich von Kleist, Simon Wiesenthal, Herman Melville, and Maurice Sendak. He uses this discussion to show that in trusting another person, we must trust in ourselves to remain available to the possibility of forgiveness for those occasions when the other person betrays a trust, without thereby forgiving anything in advance. Original forgiveness is to remain the other person’s keeper—even when the other has caused harm. Likewise, being another’s keeper calls upon an original beseeching for forgiveness, given the inevitable possibility of blemish or betrayal.
Florida governor Reubin Askew memorably characterized a leader as “someone who cares enough to tell the people not merely what they want to hear, but what they need to know.” It was a surprising statement for a contemporary politician to make, and, more surprising still, it worked. In The Politics of Trust: Reubin Askew and Florida in the 1970s, Gordon E. Harvey traces the life and career of the man whose public service many still recall as “the Golden Age” of Florida politics.
Askew rose to power on a wave of “New South” leadership that hoped to advance the Democratic Party beyond the intransigent torpor of southern politics since the Civil War. He hoped to replace appeals to white supremacy with a vision of a more diverse and inclusive party. Following his election in Florida, other New South leaders such as Georgia’s Jimmy Carter, Arkansas’s Dale Bumpers, and South Carolina’s John C. West all came to power.
Audacious and gifted, Askew was one of six children raised by a single mother in Pensacola. As he worked his way up through the ranks of the state legislature, few in Florida except his constituents knew his name when he challenged Republic incumbent Claude R. Kirk Jr. on a populist platform promising higher corporate taxes. When he won, he inaugurated a series of reforms, including a new 5 percent corporate income tax; lower consumer, property, and school taxes; a review of penal statutes; environmental protections; higher welfare benefits; and workers’ compensation to previously uncovered migrant laborers.
Touting honesty, candor, and transparency, Askew dubbed his administration “government in the sunshine.” Harvey demonstrates that Askew’s success was not in spite of his penchant for bold, sometimes unpopular stances, but rather because his mix of unvarnished candor, sober ethics, and religious faith won the trust of the diverse peoples of his state.
S. N. Eisenstadt is well known for his wide-ranging investigations of modernization, social stratification, revolution, comparative civilization, and political development. This collection of twelve major theoretical essays spans more than forty years of research, to explore systematically the bases of human action and society.
Framed by a new introduction and an extensive epilogue, which are themselves important statements about processes of institutional formations and cultural creativity, the essays trace the major developments of contemporary sociological theory and analysis. Examining themes of trust and solidarity among immigrants, youth groups, and generations, and in friendships, kinships, and patron-client relationships, Eisenstadt explores larger questions of social structure and agency, conflict and change, and the reconstitution of the social order. He looks also at political and religious systems, paying particular attention to great historical empires and the major civilizations.
United by what they reveal about three major dimensions of social life—power, trust, and meaning—these essays offer a vision of culture as both a preserving and a transforming aspect of social life, thus providing a new perspective on the relations between culture and social structure.
Scientific Characters chronicles the contests over character, knowledge, trust, and truth in a politically charged scientific controversy that erupted after a 1994 Chicago Tribune headline: “Fraud in Breast Cancer Research: Doctor Lied on Data for Decade.” In the aftermath of this dramatic news, Dr. Bernard Fisher, the eminent oncologist and celebrated pioneer of breast cancer research, came under intense scrutiny following allegations that one of his investigators falsified data in landmark breast cancer research. Although he was eventually cleared of all wrongdoing, the controversy called into question the treatment decisions of tens of thousands of women, because Fisher’s research had demonstrated that lumpectomy and radiation were as effective as breast removal for early stage cancers—a finding that was hailed as revolutionary in women’s health care.
Moving back and forth between news coverage, medical journals, letters to the editor, and oncology pamphlets, Lisa Keränen draws insights from rhetoric, literary studies, sociology, and science studies to analyze the roles of character in shaping the outcomes of the “Datagate” controversy. Throughout the scandal, debates about the character of Fisher and other key players endured, showing how scientific knowledge is shaped by perceptions of the personal temperament, trustworthiness, integrity, and transparency of those who produce it. As administrators, politicians, scientists, patients, journalists, and citizens attempted to make sense of what had happened, and to assess the integrity of the research, they raised questions, assigned blame, attributed responsibility, and reshaped the norms of scientific practice. Scientific Characters thusaddresses what happens when scientists, patients, and advocates are called to defend themselves in public concerning complex technical matters with direct implications for human life. In assessing the rhetoric that animated Datagate, Scientific Characters sheds light on the challenges faced by scientists and citizens as science becomes more bureaucratized, dispersed, and accountable to varied publics.
In a new retelling of the romantic rationalist adventure of ideas that is Hegel’s classic The Phenomenology of Spirit, Robert Brandom argues that when our self-conscious recognitive attitudes take Hegel’s radical form of magnanimity and trust, we can overcome a troubled modernity and enter a new age of spirit.
A taxi driver's life is dangerous work. Picking up a bad customer can leave the driver in a vulnerable position, and erring even once can prove fatal. To protect themselves, taxi drivers must quickly and accurately assess the trustworthiness of complete strangers. In Streetwise, Diego Gambetta and Heather Hamill take this predicament as a prototypical example of many trust decisions, where people must act on limited information and judge another person's trustworthiness based on signs that may or may not be honest indicators of that person's character or intent. Gambetta and Hamill analyze the behavior of cabbies in two cities where driving a taxi is especially perilous: New York City, where drivers have been the targets of frequent and violent robberies, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, a divided metropolis where drivers have been swept up in the region's sectarian violence. Based on in-depth ethnographic research, Streetwise lets drivers describe in their own words how they seek to determine the threat posed by each potential passenger. The drivers' decisions about whom to trust are treated in conjunction with the "sign-management" strategies of their prospective passengers—both genuine passengers who try to persuade drivers of their trustworthiness and the villains who mimic them. As the theory that guides this research suggests, drivers look for signs that correlate closely with trustworthiness but are difficult for an impostor to mimic. A smile, a business suit, or a skullcap alone do not reassure drivers, as any criminal could easily wear them. Only if attached to other signs—a middle-aged woman, a business address, or a synagogue—are they persuasive. Drivers are adept at deciphering deceitful signals, but trickery is occasionally undetectable, so they must adopt defensive strategies to minimize their exposure to harm. In Belfast, where drivers are locals and often have histories of paramilitary involvement, "macho" posturing often serves to deter would-be criminals, while New York cabbies, mostly immigrants who view themselves as outsiders, try simply to minimize the damage from attacks by appeasing robbers and carrying only small amounts of cash. For most people, erring in a trust decision leads to a broken heart or a few dollars lost. For cab drivers, such an error could mean losing their lives. The way drivers negotiate these high stakes offers us vivid insight into how to determine another person's trustworthiness. Written with clarity and color, Streetwise invites the reader to ride shotgun with cabbies as they grapple with a question of relevance to us all: which signs of trustworthiness can we really trust? A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
"Don't talk to strangers" is the advice long given to children by parents of all classes and races. Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others. In this powerful and eloquent essay, Danielle Allen, a 2002 MacArthur Fellow, takes this maxim back to Little Rock, rooting out the seeds of distrust to replace them with "a citizenship of political friendship."
Returning to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 and to the famous photograph of Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, being cursed by fellow "citizen" Hazel Bryan, Allen argues that we have yet to complete the transition to political friendship that this moment offered. By combining brief readings of philosophers and political theorists with personal reflections on race politics in Chicago, Allen proposes strikingly practical techniques of citizenship. These tools of political friendship, Allen contends, can help us become more trustworthy to others and overcome the fossilized distrust among us.
Sacrifice is the key concept that bridges citizenship and trust, according to Allen. She uncovers the ordinary, daily sacrifices citizens make to keep democracy working—and offers methods for recognizing and reciprocating those sacrifices. Trenchant, incisive, and ultimately hopeful, Talking to Strangers is nothing less than a manifesto for a revitalized democratic citizenry.
The mere word "bureaucracy" brings to mind images of endless lines, piles of paperwork, and frustrating battles over rules and red tape. But some bureaucracies are clearly more efficient and responsive than others. Why? In Teaching, Tasks, and Trust, distinguished political scientists John Brehm and Scott Gates show that a good part of the answer may be found in the roles that middle managers play in teaching and supporting the front-line employees who make a bureaucracy work. Brehm and Gates employ a range of sophisticated modeling and statistical methods in their analysis of employees in federal agencies, police departments, and social service centers. Looking directly at what front-line workers say about their supervisors, they find that employees who feel they have received adequate training have a clearer understanding of the agency's mission, which leads to improved efficiency within their departments. Quality training translates to trust – employees who feel supported and well-trained for the job are more likely to trust their supervisors than those who report being subject to constant monitoring and a strict hierarchy. Managers who "stand up" for employees—to media, government, and other agency officials—are particularly effective in cultivating the trust of their workers. And trust, the authors find, motivates superior job performance and commitment to the agency's mission. Employees who trust their supervisors report that they work harder, put in longer hours, and are less likely to break rules. The authors extend these findings to show that once supervisors grain trust, they enjoy greater latitude in influencing how employees allocate their time while working. Brehm and Gates show how these three executive roles are interrelated—training and protection for employees gives rise to trust, which provides supervisors with the leverage to stimulate improved performance among their workers. This new model—which frames supervisors as teachers and protectors instead of taskmasters—has widespread implications for training a new generation of leaders and creating more efficient organizations. Bureaucracies are notorious for inefficiency, but mid-level supervisors, who are often regarded as powerless, retain tremendous power to build a more productive workforce. Teaching, Tasks, and Trust provides a fascinating glimpse into a bureaucratic world operating below the radar of the public eye—a world we rarely see while waiting in line or filling out paperwork. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
In this unflinching look at the experience of suffering and one of its greatest manifestations—torture—J. M. Bernstein critiques the repressions of traditional moral theory, showing that our morals are not immutable ideals but fragile constructions that depend on our experience of suffering itself. Morals, Bernstein argues, not only guide our conduct but also express the depth of mutual dependence that we share as vulnerable and injurable individuals.
Beginning with the attempts to abolish torture in the eighteenth century, and then sensitively examining what is suffered in torture and related transgressions, such as rape, Bernstein elaborates a powerful new conception of moral injury. Crucially, he shows, moral injury always involves an injury to the status of an individual as a person—it is a violent assault against his or her dignity. Elaborating on this critical element of moral injury, he demonstrates that the mutual recognitions of trust form the invisible substance of our moral lives, that dignity is a fragile social possession, and that the perspective of ourselves as potential victims is an ineliminable feature of everyday moral experience.
The effective functioning of a democratic society—including social, business, and political interactions—largely depends on trust. Yet trust remains a fragile and elusive resource in many of the organizations that make up society's building blocks. In their timely volume, Trust and Distrust in Organizations, editors Roderick M. Kramer and Karen S. Cook have compiled the most important research on trust in organizations, illuminating the complex nature of how trust develops, functions, and often is thwarted in organizational settings. With contributions from social psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, economists, and organizational theorists, the volume examines trust and distrust within a variety of settings—from employer-employee and doctor-patient relationships, to geographically dispersed work teams and virtual teams on the internet. Trust and Distrust in Organizations opens with an in-depth examination of hierarchical relationships to determine how trust is established and maintained between people with unequal power. Kurt Dirks and Daniel Skarlicki find that trust between leaders and their followers is established when people perceive a shared background or identity and interact well with their leader. After trust is established, people are willing to assume greater risks and to work harder. In part II, the contributors focus on trust between people in teams and networks. Roxanne Zolin and Pamela Hinds discover that trust is more easily established in geographically dispersed teams when they are able to meet face-to-face initially. Trust and Distrust in Organizations moves on to an examination of how people create and foster trust and of the effects of power and betrayal on trust. Kimberly Elsbach reports that managers achieve trust by demonstrating concern, maintaining open communication, and behaving consistently. The final chapter by Roderick Kramer and Dana Gavrieli includes recently declassified data from secret conversations between President Lyndon Johnson and his advisors that provide a rich window into a leader's struggles with problems of trust and distrust in his administration. Broad in scope, Trust and Distrust in Organizations provides a captivating and insightful look at trust, power, and betrayal, and is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the underpinnings of trust within a relationship or an organization. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Trust and Governance
Valerie Braithwaite Russell Sage Foundation, 1998 Library of Congress JA79.T78 1998 | Dewey Decimal 306.2
An effective democratic society depends on the confidence citizens place in their government. Payment of taxes, acceptance of legislative and judicial decisions, compliance with social service programs, and support of military objectives are but some examples of the need for public cooperation with state demands. At the same time, voters expect their officials to behave ethically and responsibly. To those seeking to understand—and to improve—this mutual responsiveness, Trust and Governance provides a wide-ranging inquiry into the role of trust in civic life. Trust and Governance asks several important questions: Is trust really essential to good governance, or are strong laws more important? What leads people either to trust or to distrust government, and what makes officials decide to be trustworthy? Can too much trust render the public vulnerable to government corruption, and if so what safeguards are necessary? In approaching these questions, the contributors draw upon an abundance of historical and current resources to offer a variety of perspectives on the role of trust in government. For some, trust between citizens and government is a rational compact based on a fair exchange of information and the public's ability to evaluate government performance. Levi and Daunton each examine how the establishment of clear goals and accountability procedures within government agencies facilitates greater public commitment, evidence that a strong government can itself be a source of trust. Conversely, Jennings and Peel offer two cases in which loss of citizen confidence resulted from the administration of seemingly unresponsive, punitive social service programs. Other contributors to Trust and Governance view trust as a social bonding, wherein the public's emotional investment in government becomes more important than their ability to measure its performance. The sense of being trusted by voters can itself be a powerful incentive for elected officials to behave ethically, as Blackburn, Brennan, and Pettit each demonstrate. Other authors explore how a sense of communal identity and shared values make citizens more likely to eschew their own self-interest and favor the government as a source of collective good. Underlying many of these essays is the assumption that regulatory institutions are necessary to protect citizens from the worst effects of misplaced trust. Trust and Governance offers evidence that the jurisdictional level at which people and government interact—be it federal, state, or local—is fundamental to whether trust is rationally or socially based. Although social trust is more prevalent at the local level, both forms of trust may be essential to a healthy society. Enriched by perspectives from political science, sociology, psychology, economics, history, and philosophy, Trust and Governance opens a new dialogue on the role of trust in the vital relationship between citizenry and government. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Series on Trust.
Do states trust each other? What are the political and ethical implications of trust? Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, Trust and Hedging in International Relations adds to the emerging literature on trust in international relations by offering a systematic measure of state-to-state trust. Looking at how relationships between European microstates and their partners have evolved over the past few centuries, Stiles finds that rather than trusting, most microstates are careful to hedge in their relations by agreeing only to arrangements that provide them with opt-out clauses, heavy involvement in joint decision-making, and sunset provisions. In the process, Stiles assesses the role of rationality, social relations, identity politics, and other theories of trust to demonstrate that trust is neither essential for cooperation nor a guarantee of protection and safety. Finally, he explores the ethical implications of a foreign policy founded on trust—in particular whether heads of state have the right to enter into open-ended agreements that put their citizens at risk.
The first English-language book to focus on northeast Sino-Russian border economies, Trust and Mistrust in the Economies of theChina-Russia Borderlands examines how trans-border economies function in practice. The authors offer an anthropological understanding of trust in juxtaposition to the economy and the state. They argue that the history of suspicion and the securitisedcharacter of the Sino-Russian border mean that trust is at a premium. The chapters show how diverse kinds of cross-border businessmanage to operate, often across great distances, despite widespread mistrust.
Trust is essential to economic and social transactions of all kinds, from choosing a marriage partner, to taking a job, and even buying a used car. The benefits to be gained from such transactions originate in the willingness of individuals to take risks by placing trust in others to behave in cooperative and non-exploitative ways. But how do humans decide whether or not to trust someone? Using findings from evolutionary psychology, game theory, and laboratory experiments, Trust and Reciprocity examines the importance of reciprocal relationships in explaining the origins of trust and trustworthy behavior. In Part I, contributor Russell Hardin argues that before one can understand trust one must account for the conditions that make someone trustworthy. Elinor Ostrom discusses evidence that individuals achieve outcomes better than those predicted by models of game theory based on purely selfish motivations. In Part II, the book takes on the biological foundations of trust. Frans de Waal illustrates the deep evolutionary roots of trust and reciprocity with examples from the animal world, such as the way chimpanzees exchange social services like grooming and sharing. Other contributors look at the links between evolution, cognition, and behavior. Kevin McCabe examines how the human mind processes the complex commitments that reciprocal relationships require, summarizing brain imaging experiments that suggest the frontal lobe region is activated when humans try to cooperate with their fellow humans. Acknowledging the importance of game theory as a theoretical model for examining strategic relationships, in Part III the contributors tackle the question of how simple game theoretic models must be extended to explain behavior in situations involving trust and reciprocity. Reviewing a range of experimental studies, Karen Cook and Robin Cooper conclude that trust is dependent on the complex relationships between incentives and individual characteristics, and must be examined in light of the social contexts which promote or erode trust. As an example, Catherine Eckel and Rick Wilson explore how people's cues, such as facial expressions and body language, affect whether others will trust them. The divergent views in this volume are unified by the basic conviction that humans gain through the development of trusting relationships. Trust and Reciprocity advances our understanding of what makes people willing or unwilling to take the risks involved in building such relationships and why. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Trust and Trustworthiness
Russell Hardin Russell Sage Foundation, 2002 Library of Congress BJ1500.T78H37 2002 | Dewey Decimal 179.9
What does it mean to "trust?" What makes us feel secure enough to place our confidence—even at times our welfare—in the hands of other people? Is it possible to "trust" an institution? What exactly do people mean when they claim to "distrust" their governments? As difficult as it may be to define, trust is essential to the formation and maintenance of a civil society. In Trust and Trustworthiness political scientist Russell Hardin addresses the standard theories of trust and articulates his own new and compelling idea: that much of what we call trust can be best described as "encapsulated interest." Research into the roles of trust in our society has offered a broad range of often conflicting theories. Some theorists maintain that trust is a social virtue that cannot be reduced to strategic self-interest; others claim that trusting another person is ultimately a rational calculation based on information about that person and his or her incentives and motivations. Hardin argues that we place our trust in persons whom we believe to have strong reasons to act in our best interests. He claims that we are correct when we assume that the main incentive of those whom we trust is to maintain a relationship with us—whether it be for reasons of economic benefit or for love and friendship. Hardin articulates his theory using examples from a broad array of personal and social relationships, paying particular attention to explanations of the development of trusting relationships. He also examines trustworthiness and seeks to understand why people may behave in ways that violate their own self-interest in order to honor commitments they have made to others. The book also draws important distinctions between vernacular uses of "trust" and "trustworthiness," contrasting, for example, the type of trust (or distrust) we place in individuals with the trust we place in institutions Trust and Trustworthiness represents the culmination of important new research into the roles of trust in our society; it offers a challenging new voice in the current discourse about the origins of cooperative behavior and its consequences for social and civic life. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Trust, Ethnicity, and Identity deals with the economic role of laws and institutions in achieving social order in a decentralized economy. Specifically, this book considers the coordinating role of three major nonprice institutions--ethnic trading networks, contract law, and gift-exchange--in economizing on transaction costs and thus facilitating the process of exchange in decentralized economies in different historical contexts.
The major unifying theme of the book is this: identity matters when traders operate in an environment characterized by contract uncertainty, where the legal framework for the enforcement of contracts is not well developed. This in turn points out the importance of trust embedded in particularistic exchange relations such as kinship or ethnicity.
One unique facet of this book is that the author uses a property rights--public choice approach--part of the New Institutional Economics--to provide a unifying theoretical framework to explain such diverse exchange institutions as contract law, ethnic trading networks, and gift-exchange, In addition, it goes beyond the New Institutional Economics paradigm by incorporating some crucial concepts from sociology, anthropology, and bioeconomics, such as social structure, social norms, culture, reciprocity, and kin-related altruism. This broad interdisciplinary framework gives Landa's work a relevance beyond economics to law, political science, sociology, anthropology, and bioeconomics.
Most Americans agree on the necessity of education reform, but there is little consensus about how this goal might be achieved. The rhetoric of standards and vouchers has occupied center stage, polarizing public opinion and affording little room for reflection on the intangible conditions that make for good schools. Trust in Schools engages this debate with a compelling examination of the importance of social relationships in the successful implementation of school reform. Over the course of three years, Bryk and Schneider, together with a diverse team of other researchers and school practitioners, studied reform in twelve Chicago elementary schools. Each school was undergoing extensive reorganization in response to the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988, which called for greater involvement of parents and local community leaders in their neighborhood schools. Drawing on years longitudinal survey and achievement data, as well as in-depth interviews with principals, teachers, parents, and local community leaders, the authors develop a thorough account of how effective social relationships—which they term relational trust—can serve as a prime resource for school improvement. Using case studies of the network of relationships that make up the school community, Bryk and Schneider examine how the myriad social exchanges that make up daily life in a school community generate, or fail to generate, a successful educational environment. The personal dynamics among teachers, students, and their parents, for example, influence whether students regularly attend school and sustain their efforts in the difficult task of learning. In schools characterized by high relational trust, educators were more likely to experiment with new practices and work together with parents to advance improvements. As a result, these schools were also more likely to demonstrate marked gains in student learning. In contrast, schools with weak trust relations saw virtually no improvement in their reading or mathematics scores. Trust in Schools demonstrates convincingly that the quality of social relationships operating in and around schools is central to their functioning, and strongly predicts positive student outcomes. This book offer insights into how trust can be built and sustained in school communities, and identifies some features of public school systems that can impede such development. Bryk and Schneider show how a broad base of trust across a school community can provide a critical resource as education professional and parents embark on major school reforms. A Volume in the American Sociological Association's Rose Series in Sociology
Trust in Society
Karen Cook Russell Sage Foundation, 2001 Library of Congress HM1106.T78 2001 | Dewey Decimal 302
Trust plays a pervasive role in social affairs, even sustaining acts of cooperation among strangers who have no control over each other's actions. But the full importance of trust is rarely acknowledged until it begins to break down, threatening the stability of social relationships once taken for granted. Trust in Society uses the tools of experimental psychology, sociology, political science, and economics to shed light on the many functions trust performs in social and political life. The authors discuss different ways of conceptualizing trust and investigate the empirical effects of trust in a variety of social settings, from the local and personal to the national and institutional. Drawing on experimental findings, this book examines how people decide whom to trust, and how a person proves his own trustworthiness to others. Placing trust in a person can be seen as a strategic act, a moral response, or even an expression of social solidarity. People often assume that strangers are trustworthy on the basis of crude social affinities, such as a shared race, religion, or hometown. Likewise, new immigrants are often able to draw heavily upon the trust of prior arrivals—frequently kin—to obtain work and start-up capital. Trust in Society explains how trust is fostered among members of voluntary associations—such as soccer clubs, choirs, and church groups—and asks whether this trust spills over into other civic activities of wider benefit to society. The book also scrutinizes the relationship between trust and formal regulatory institutions, such as the law, that either substitute for trust when it is absent, or protect people from the worst consequences of trust when it is misplaced. Moreover, psychological research reveals how compliance with the law depends more on public trust in the motives of the police and courts than on fear of punishment. The contributors to this volume demonstrate the growing analytical sophistication of trust research and its wide-ranging explanatory power. In the interests of analytical rigor, the social sciences all too often assume that people act as atomistic individuals without regard to the interests of others. Trust in Society demonstrates how we can think rigorously and analytically about the many aspects of social life that cannot be explained in those terms. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric challenges the accepted idea of a singular rhetorical tradition poorly maintained from the Athenian Golden Age until the present. Author Susan Miller argues that oratorical rhetoric is but one among many codes that guide the production of texts and proposes that emotion and trust are central to the motives and effects of rhetoric.
This groundbreaking volume makes a case for historical rhetoric as disbursed, formal and informal lessons in persuasion that are codified as crafts that mediate between what is known and unknown in particular rhetorical situations. Traditional, unified histories of rhetoric ignore the extensive historical interactions among discourses—including medicine, drama, lyric poetry, philosophy, oratory, and literary fiction—that have operated from antiquity across cultures that are historically and geographically joined.
Drawing not just on traditional rhetorical works, but also on texts from philosophy and literature, Miller expands the body of works to be considered in the study of rhetoric. As the first book-length study that calls into question the centrality of logos to rhetoric, Trust in Texts will change the way the history of rhetoric is viewed and taught and will be essential to scholars and students of communications, rhetoric, English, classics, and literary studies.
“The Earth says, God has placed me here. The Earth says that God tells me to take care of the Indians on this earth; the Earth says to the Indians that stop on the Earth, feed them right. . . . God says feed the Indians upon the earth.”
—Cayuse Chief Young Chief, Walla Walla Council of 1855
America has always been Indian land. Historically and culturally, Native Americans have had a strong appreciation for the land and what it offers. After continually struggling to hold on to their land and losing millions of acres, Native Americans still have a strong and ongoing relationship to their homelands. The land holds spiritual value and offers a way of life through fishing, farming, and hunting. It remains essential—not only for subsistence but also for cultural continuity—that Native Americans regain rights to land they were promised.
Beth Rose Middleton examines new and innovative ideas concerning Native land conservancies, providing advice on land trusts, collaborations, and conservation groups. Increasingly, tribes are working to protect their access to culturally important lands by collaborating with Native and non- Native conservation movements. By using private conservation partnerships to reacquire lost land, tribes can ensure the health and sustainability of vital natural resources. In particular, tribal governments are using conservation easements and land trusts to reclaim rights to lost acreage. Through the use of these and other private conservation tools, tribes are able to protect or in some cases buy back the land that was never sold but rather was taken from them.
Trust in the Land sets into motion a new wave of ideas concerning land conservation. This informative book will appeal to Native and non-Native individuals and organizations interested in protecting the land as well as environmentalists and government agencies.
Public opinion polls suggest that American's trust in the police and courts is declining. The same polls also reveal a disturbing racial divide, with minorities expressing greater levels of distrust than whites. Practices such as racial profiling, zero-tolerance and three-strikes laws, the use of excessive force, and harsh punishments for minor drug crimes all contribute to perceptions of injustice. In Trust in the Law, psychologists Tom R. Tyler and Yuen J. Huo present a compelling argument that effective law enforcement requires the active engagement and participation of the communities it serves, and argue for a cooperative approach to law enforcement that appeals to people's sense of fair play, even if the outcomes are not always those with which they agree. Based on a wide-ranging survey of citizens who had recent contact with the police or courts in Oakland and Los Angeles, Trust in the Law examines the sources of people's favorable and unfavorable reactions to their encounters with legal authorities. Tyler and Huo address the issue from a variety of angles: the psychology of decision acceptance, the importance of individual personal experiences, and the role of ethnic group identification. They find that people react primarily to whether or not they are treated with dignity and respect, and the degree to which they feel they have been treated fairly helps to shape their acceptance of the legal process. Their findings show significantly less willingness on the part of minority group members who feel they have been treated unfairly to trust the motives to subsequent legal decisions of law enforcement authorities. Since most people in the study generalize from their personal experiences with individual police officers and judges, Tyler and Huo suggest that gaining maximum cooperation and consent of the public depends upon fair and transparent decision-making and treatment on the part of law enforcement officers. Tyler and Huo conclude that the best way to encourage compliance with the law is for legal authorities to implement programs that foster a sense of personal involvement and responsibility. For example, community policing programs, in which the local population is actively engaged in monitoring its own neighborhood, have been shown to be an effective tool in improving police-community relationships. Cooperation between legal authorities and community members is a much discussed but often elusive goal. Trust in the Law shows that legal authorities can behave in ways that encourage the voluntary acceptance of their directives, while also building trust and confidence in the overall legitimacy of the police and courts. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
The specific concern in What We Hold in Trust comes to this: the Catholic university that sees its principal purpose in terms of the active life, of career, and of changing the world, undermines the contemplative and more deep-rooted purpose of the university. If a university adopts the language of technical and social change as its main and exclusive purpose, it will weaken the deeper roots of the university’s liberal arts and Catholic mission. The language of the activist, of changing the world through social justice, equality and inclusion, or of the technician through market-oriented incentives, plays an important role in university life. We need to change the world for the better and universities play an important role, but both the activist and technician will be co-opted by our age of hyper-activity and technocratic organizations if there is not first a contemplative outlook on the world that receives reality rather than constructs it.
To address this need for roots What We Hold in Trust unfolds in four chapters that will demonstrate how essential it is for the faculty, administrators, and trustees of Catholic universities to think philosophically and theologically (Chapter One), historically (Chapter Two) and institutionally (Chapters Three and Four). What we desperately need today are leaders in Catholic universities who understand the roots of the institutions they serve, who can wisely order the goods of the university, who know what is primary and what is secondary, and who can distinguish fads and slogans from authentic reform. We need leaders who are in touch with their history and have a love for tradition, and in particular for the Catholic tradition. Without this vision, our universities may grow in size, but shrink in purpose. They may be richer but not wiser.
Conventional wisdom holds that trust is essential for cooperation between individuals and institutions—such as community organizations, banks, and local governments. Not necessarily so, according to editors Karen Cook, Margaret Levi, and Russell Hardin. Cooperation thrives under a variety of circum-stances. Whom Can We Trust? examines the conditions that promote or constrain trust and advances our understanding of how cooperation really works. From interpersonal and intergroup relations to large-scale organizations, Whom Can We Trust? uses empirical research to show that the need for trust and trustworthiness as prerequisites to cooperation varies widely. Part I addresses the sources of group-based trust. One chapter focuses on the assumption—versus the reality—of trust among coethnics in Uganda. Another examines the effects of social-network position on trust and trustworthiness in urban Ghana and rural Kenya. And a third demonstrates how cooperation evolves in groups where reciprocity is the social norm. Part II asks whether there is a causal relationship between institutions and feelings of trust in individuals. What does—and doesn't—promote trust between doctors and patients in a managed-care setting? How do poverty and mistrust figure into the relations between inner city residents and their local leaders? Part III reveals how institutions and networks create environments for trust and cooperation. Chapters in this section look at trust as credit-worthiness and the history of borrowing and lending in the Anglo-American commercial world; the influence of the perceived legitimacy of local courts in the Philippines on the trust relations between citizens and the government; and the key role of skepticism, not necessarily trust, in a well-developed democratic society. Whom Can We Trust? unravels the intertwined functions of trust and cooperation in diverse cultural, economic, and social settings. The book provides a bold new way of thinking about how trust develops, the real limitations of trust, and when trust may not even be necessary for forging cooperation. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
Polarization is at an all-time high in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, Americans are polarized not so much in their policy preferences as in their feelings toward their political opponents: To an unprecedented degree, Republicans and Democrats simply do not like one another. No surprise that these deeply held negative feelings are central to the recent (also unprecedented) plunge in congressional productivity. The past three Congresses have gotten less done than any since scholars began measuring congressional productivity.
In Why Washington Won’t Work, Marc J. Hetherington and Thomas J. Rudolph argue that a contemporary crisis of trust—people whose party is out of power have almost no trust in a government run by the other side—has deadlocked Congress. On most issues, party leaders can convince their own party to support their positions. In order to pass legislation, however, they must also create consensus by persuading some portion of the opposing party to trust in their vision for the future. Without trust, consensus fails to develop and compromise does not occur. Up until recently, such trust could still usually be found among the opposition, but not anymore. Political trust, the authors show, is far from a stable characteristic. It’s actually highly variable and contingent on a variety of factors, including whether one’s party is in control, which part of the government one is dealing with, and which policies or events are most salient at the moment.
Political trust increases, for example, when the public is concerned with foreign policy—as in times of war—and it decreases in periods of weak economic performance. Hetherington and Rudolph do offer some suggestions about steps politicians and the public might take to increase political trust. Ultimately, however, they conclude that it is unlikely levels of political trust will significantly increase unless foreign concerns come to dominate and the economy is consistently strong.
In Dante’s Inferno, the lowest circle of Hell is reserved for traitors, those who betrayed their closest companions. In a wide range of literatures and mythologies such intimate aggression is a source of ultimate terror, and in Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust, Peter Geschiere masterfully sketches it as a central ember at the core of human relationships, one brutally revealed in the practice of witchcraft. Examining witchcraft in its variety of forms throughout the globe, he shows how this often misunderstood practice is deeply structured by intimacy and the powers it affords. In doing so, he offers not only a comprehensive look at contemporary witchcraft but also a fresh—if troubling—new way to think about intimacy itself.
Geschiere begins in the forests of southeast Cameroon with the Maka, who fear “witchcraft of the house” above all else. Drawing a variety of local conceptions of intimacy into a global arc, he tracks notions of the home and family—and witchcraft’s transgression of them—throughout Africa, Europe, Brazil, and Oceania, showing that witchcraft provides powerful ways of addressing issues that are crucial to social relationships. Indeed, by uncovering the link between intimacy and witchcraft in so many parts of the world, he paints a provocative picture of human sociality that scrutinizes some of the most prevalent views held by contemporary social science.
One of the few books to situate witchcraft in a global context, Witchcraft, Intimacy, and Trust is at once a theoretical tour de force and an empirically rich and lucid take on a difficult-to-understand spiritual practice and the private spaces throughout the world it so greatly affects.