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“Trust in the Knowledge Society” . Eric M. Uslaner Professor of Government and Politics University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/uslaner. Trust has many different meanings: Strategic trust: trust we gain from daily experience.

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trust in the knowledge society

“Trust in the Knowledge Society”

Eric M. Uslaner

Professor of Government and Politics

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/uslaner

slide2
Trust has many different meanings:
  • Strategic trust: trust we gain from daily experience.
  • Particularistic trust: trust in people like ourselves. May stem from direct experience or from stereotypes.
  • Generalized (moralistic) trust: Trust in strangers, especially people who are different from ourselves. Cannot come from interaction with people we know.
slide3
It is easy to cooperate with people like ourselves. We have few disagreements and it is easy to trust them. It is difficult to trust people when there is a widespread disparity in wealth. Generalized trust is thus a product of our modern society.
slide4
Education broadens our horizons, and people with higher levels of education (especially college education) are more likely to be trusting. So trust is a product of the knowledge society.
slide5
There are many routes to cooperative behavior. Contracts can ensure that people obey the law and keep their word. But trust does not depend upon the law. Instead, trusting relations between people are a substitute for the strong arm of the law.
slide6
Trusting strangers is risky. But trusting people see opportunities rather than risks in dealing with strangers.
slide7
Trust brings many benefits to society that stem from the decision to take risks: People seek new ways of interacting with each other (the Internet), they open their markets, and they will have greater economic growth and less corruption.