Why People Don'T Trust Government / Edition 1

Why People Don'T Trust Government / Edition 1

by Joseph S. Jr. Nye
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674940571

ISBN-13: 9780674940574

Pub. Date: 10/05/1997

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Confidence in American government has been declining for three decades. Three-quarters of Americans said they trusted the Federal government to do the right thing in 1964. Today, only a quarter do. Why the decline? Is this mistrust a healthy reflection of America's long-lasting skepticism of a strong state? Is mistrust a problem for the future of

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Overview

Confidence in American government has been declining for three decades. Three-quarters of Americans said they trusted the Federal government to do the right thing in 1964. Today, only a quarter do. Why the decline? Is this mistrust a healthy reflection of America's long-lasting skepticism of a strong state? Is mistrust a problem for the future of governance?

Bringing together essays by leading Harvard scholars, this book explores the roots of mistrust. It first examines government's current scope, its actual performance, and citizens' perceptions of its performance. It then assesses many possible explanations that have been offered for the decline of trust, including the end of the Cold War, elevated expectations following World War II, a weakened economy, the effects of globalization, resentment over political scandals, and incompetence of bureaucrats. The book clarifies thinking about the sources of public disaffection.

Mistrust, the contributors find, is largely unrelated to national economic conditions, to challenges of a global economy, to the Cold War, or to bumbling bureaucrats and venal politicians. Rather, they show that the most likely culprits are all around us--an interacting blend of cultural and political conflicts stirred by an increasingly corrosive news media.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674940574
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/05/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
356
Sales rank:
1,000,646
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.74(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: The Decline of Confidence in Government
Joseph S. Nye, Jr.

PART ONE: The Scope and Performance of Government

The Evolving Scope of Government
Ernest R. May

Measuring the Performance of Government
Derek Bok

Fall from Grace: The Public's Loss of Faith in Government
Gary Orren

PART TWO: The Menu of Explanations

Is It Really the Economy Stupid?
Robert Z. Lawrence

Social and Cultural Causes of Dissatisfaction with U.S. Government
Jane Manbridge

The Polarization of American Parties and Mistrust of Government
David C. King

The Politics of Mistrust
Richard E. Neustadt

PART THREE: Data on Public Attitudes toward Governance

Changing Attitudes in America
Robert J. Blendon, John M. Benson, Richard Morin, Drew E. Altman, Mollyann Brodie, Mario Brossard, And Matt James

Postmaterialist Values and the Erosion of Institutional Authority
Ronald Inglehart

Public Trust and Democracy in Japan
Susan J. Pharr

Conclusion: Reflections, Conjectures, and Puzzles
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., and Philip D. Zelikow

Notes

Contributors

Index

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