When Is Social Trust a Desirable Outcomes?: Examining Levels of Trust in the Arab World
Amaney J. 2007. “When Is Social Trust a Desirable Outcomes?: Examining Levels of Trust in the Arab World.” Comparative Political Studies 40(11): 1328-1349.
Levels of both political and social trust tend to play a crucial role in democracies. Yet we have little understanding of the ways in which trust operates in nondemocratic societies. This article finds that levels of political confidence are linked to generalized trust in both democratic and nondemocratic states. In democracies, then, levels of generalized trust may reinforce existing democratic institutions. In nondemocracies, however, generalized trust may be linked to support for authoritarian patterns of rule. This article argues that although generalized trust serves democracy in democratic settings, it is not linked to democratic forms of political and social engagement in the less democratic states of the Arab world.