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Trust, Democracy, and Multicultural Challenges

Patti Tamara Lenard

Publication Year: 2012

Trust, Democracy and the Challenge of Multiculturalism argues that ethno-cultural diversity as a result of increasing rates of immigration may, if managed improperly, generate distrust, that trust is at the center of effective democratic politics, and therefore that democratic communities must therefore take care in generating the conditions under which trust between newcomers and ‘native’ citizens can be built, so that the quality of democracies is not compromised. It bridges gaps between democratic theory, multiculturalism theory and migration theory.

Published by: Penn State University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Table of Contents

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pp. ix-xi

Th is book has its origins in two distinct incidents. One is a lecture I attended given by Dr. Charles Pentland at Queen’s University on the structure of the United Nations trusteeship in Kosovo. His lecture prompted me to consider the phenomenon of trust and the institutional structures that can support...

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Introduction: Trust, Democracy, and Multicultural Challenges

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pp. 1-14

No single incident prompted a British magazine cover to question whether Britain is “too diverse.” No individual moment in Dutch politics created an environment in which a new book about immigration to the Netherlands could plausibly be titled When Ways of Life Collide. No particular event...

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Chapter 1: Trust Defined

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pp. 15-37

Trust is central to human relations of all kinds. We trust our parents, our friends, our teachers, our doctors, and so on. We even trust people more generally, oft en people we have never met, as we go about our daily lives. We trust people on the street to provide us with accurate directions when we’re...

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Chapter 2: Trust as a Foundational Democratic Value

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pp. 38-53

The thesis of my book is that trust is important to social and political communities, in partic lar to the cooperation and reciprocity that typically underpin communities when they function for the good of their members. The previous chapter examined the methodologies employed by social scientists...

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Chapter 3: Distrust, Mistrust, and Democracy

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pp. 54-74

In the preceding chapter, I argued that trust is central to assuring the smooth functioning of the most basic of democratic institutions, and that trust is among the central public attitudes that must prevail in order for these institutions to maintain support over time. When there exists widespread trust...

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Chapter 4: Public Culture and Trust

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pp. 75-94

Earlier chapters suggested that trust is central to democratic political activity, and that even if a political community can sustain a certain degree of distrust for some time, distrust is by and large inimical to democracy. We now turn to an assessment of the source of trust in democratic political communities...

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Chapter 5: Trust and Ethnocultural Diversity in Multicultural Democracies

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pp. 95-114

Since democracy relies on vibrant, robust trust relations, we have cause to worry if the presence of ethnocultural diversity erodes them, and impractical as it is fosters distrust instead. Th e debate, which is prominent in contemporary academic and political discussions, is most oft en framed in terms of...

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Chapter 6: Severely Divided Societies, Trust, and the Struggle for Democracy

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pp. 115-132

It is commonplace to argue that democracy is impossible to construct and maintain in severely divided societies. Some kind of shared commitment to a democratic polity, and the cooperation this implies, is required in order that democracy survives, and this commitment may not exist when ethnocultural divisions...

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Chapter 7: Guiding Trust Building in Democracies

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pp. 133-155

Attempts to rebuild trust in divided societies take many forms with which we are familiar. For example, Northern Ireland has invested in integrated schools (which are in high demand and not yet widely available), schools in which students from both Catholic and Protestant backgrounds learn and work together...

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Conclusion: The Challenges of Multiculturalism?

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pp. 156-160

This book began with an account of cultural and ethnic tensions in which, I alleged, the central issue was the trust relations, or the absence thereof, among citizens. I pointed to the debates in Eu rope about whether to implement citizenship tests for newcomers to establish that they had adopted, or...


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pp. 161-176


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pp. 177-188


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pp. 189-193

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271053950
E-ISBN-10: 027105395X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271052533
Print-ISBN-10: 0271052538

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2012