Trust in institutions and governance

Mark Alfano*, Nicole Huijts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on the practical and epistemic benefits made possible or more likely by warranted trust. Small-scale groups in which everyone knows everyone can sustain the transitivity of trust among all their members. When a distrusted institution has, however, changed its ways and has become trustworthy, it can help to include other more trusted actors in decision-making or information provision to signal this trustworthiness. The chapter describes mechanisms that can build or undermine trust in the context of institutions and governance, using large, potentially risky, energy technology projects as an exemplary case. When corporations, institutions and governments do make serious and public efforts both to be and to appear trustworthy, it is reasonable for citizens to react with distrust and take action to prevent the implementation of risky new technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Trust and Philosophy
EditorsJudith Simon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781134881604, 9781315542294
ISBN (Print)9781138687462
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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