Trust, Mistrust and Distrust in Diverse Societies

In Dimitr Karmis & Francois Rocher (eds.), Trust and Distrust in Political Theory and Practice: The Case of Diverse Societies. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens (forthcoming)
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In this chapter I explore some of the roles of trust, mistrust, and distrust in deeply plural or diverse societies. Section One sets out the features of deeply diverse societies that provide the contexts of trust and distrust. Section Two proposes that social relationships in diverse societies need to have two qualities to be full of intersubjective trust (trustful) and, thus, worthy of trust (trustworthy) of the members of the relationships: cooperative and contestatory quality, and self-sustaining and co-sustaining quality. Section Three suggests that such trustful relationships are grounded in and draw on a second type of trust: pre-existing co-operational trust. Section Four argues that trustful relationships and co-operational trust are co-sustained by a third type of trust: an interactive ethics or ethos of trust of the members within which they exercise judgements of trust and mistrust. These three types of trust form a triad that sustains virtuous (autopoietic) systems of trust and peacefulness (nonviolence). Throughout the sections the features of virtuous systems of trust are contrasted with vicious systems of distrust.
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