Cooperation against all odds: Finding reasons for trust where formal institutions fail
2007 (English)In: International Sociology, ISSN 0268-5809, E-ISSN 1461-7242, Vol. 22, no 3, 343-366 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article takes an empirical point of departure in a longitudinal study in Tanzania that focuses on the trust formation process in its `bare' form, i.e. in a context where formal institutions are of little help in curbing opportunistic behaviour. The study's framework suggests a knowledge-based view of trust where the interplay between an individual's subjective knowledge or `good reasons' for trusting others and inclination to take a `leap of faith' explains his or her engagement in cooperative activity. The empirical findings show that people do not tend to be gamblers and take a big leap of faith when institutional prerequisites imply bad odds. On the contrary, people instead try hard and imaginatively to create reasons for trusting that are really good. In particular, they favour reasons that are related to control, such as those where sanctions or hostage-like measures come into play. As a result, the findings do not support the argument that the use of control(s) signals distrust and casts doubt over a partner 's good will.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 22, no 3, 343-366 p.
National CategorySocial Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-37049DOI: 10.1177/0268580907076575Local ID: 33547OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-37049DiVA: diva2:257898