What, then, are the socio-psychological demands of democracy? There is near to unanimous agreement that trust is decisive here: democracy can only thrive in a society of citizens prepared to trust each other and acting on the belief that mutual benefits are to be expected from co-operation. Thus far research has preferred to focus on trust between private citizens or groups of private citizens.
The political dimension of trust has only rarely been addressed. The present collection of historical and theoretical studies attempts to fill this lacuna. Young people, in particular, are detaching themselves in droves from active and passive participation in the formal democratic system.
In Australia, public trust and satisfaction in democracy has fallen to record lows over the past 10 years , while a Lowy Institute survey last year found that less than half of Australian voters under the age of 44 preferred democracy over other forms of government. As voters disengage with politics, the character of democracy begins to shift.
Read more: Friday essay: Australia's dangerous obsession with the Anglosphere. These parties are increasingly dominated by former political advisers and career party functionaries with comparatively little life experience. This comes at a time when occupational, gender and life-experience diversity is increasing in society at a rapid rate. The election of Donald Trump in the US and the populist forces that underwrote Brexit illustrate the extreme polarisation of politics at the moment, as well.
As the public invests less interest and commitment to democracy, the democratic arena is captured by those with narrow, unrepresentative world views. Growing public disengagement leads to the greater capture of democratic processes by outlier groups and individuals who are hostile to democratic institutions and practices.
Strongman governments are characterised by a weakening of democratic checks and balances. They are also marked by rhetoric and decision-making that promotes intense nationalism, while undermining core democratic values of tolerance and openness.
Is declining trust in government and in other citizens bad for democracy? Bringing together social science and political theory, this book analyses the relationship between democracy and trust. Yet democratic institutions depend on a trust among citizens sufficient for. Cambridge Core - Political Sociology - Democracy and Trust - edited by Mark E. Warren.
Read more: How conservatives use identity politics to shut down debate. The Open Government Partnership OGP is publishing this thought-provoking collection of essays to breathe new life into this debate.
The essays are written by a diversity of European voices from all Member States, including leading decision-makers, civil society activists, journalists, academics, and youth leaders, among others. Download the Report.
We sincerely thank the contributors for authoring thought-provoking essays articulating their vision on the health of democracy and trust in Europe. Copyright: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.