This book, prepared under the auspices of the ISA research committee on Comparative Sociology, focuses on a worldwide phenomenon: political mistrust, observable in almost all countries, in both established democracies and in authoritarian regimes.
But ubiquity does not signify uniformity. The diversity of political regimes generates a multiplicity of forms and intensities of mistrust. Political mistrust seems inherent even in advanced democracies and in semi-democracies, where citizens are better prepared and more prone to criticize the dysfunctions of institutions and condemn the misconduct of politicians. Political mistrust is greatly nourished in many countries by a wide practice of public corruption. Of particular sociological interest is the vulnerability of political elites and of their frequent condemnation to “civil death”.
Mattei Dogan, Ph.D., Sorbonne, is Honorary Research Director of National Center of Scientific Research, Paris and former Professor of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles. His many articles and books include Comparing Nations: Concepts, Strategies and Substance (Blackwell, 1994), Elites, Crises and the Origins of Regimes (Rowman and Littlefield, 1998) and Elite Configurations at the Apex of Power (Brill, 2003). He is author or editor of 35 books and of many articles in academic journals.
Introduction: Political Mistrust as a Worldwide Phenomenon
I Comparative Analyses
Erosion of Confidence in Thirty European Democracies
Political Mistrust in Latin America
Timothy J. Power and Giselle Jamison
Political Mistrust in Sbutheast Asia
II Contrasting Cases of National Configurations of Trust-Mistrust
Norway: Trust Among Elites in a Corporatist Democracy
France: Political Mistrust and the Civil Death of Politicians
Nigeria: Trust Your Patron, not the Institutions
III From Mistrust to Crisis of Legitimacy
Argentina: Economic Disaster and the Rejection of the Political Class
Frederick C. Turner And Marita Carballo
How Civil War Was Avoided in France
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