Block–Seminar: Trust, Democracy, and Development in Market-based Societies

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest

Block – Seminar

Trust, Democracy, and Development in Market-based Societies

delivered by
Prof. Joseph Lewandowski
University of Central Missouri

Dates: 21 – 25 March 2011. Time: 16.00 – 18.30. Location: Faculty of Philosophy

This seminar is included in the Development Studies master program. Students from Philosophy, European Studies, Political Sciences and Sociology are also welcomed. Registration is required at the Secretary of the Faculty of Philosophy. Other information: Trust_Mini_Course(PDF)

Description: What, precisely, is ‘trust’? Where does trust come from? And what, if anything, does the existence of trust contribute to the health and flourishing of a democracy, the efficiency and growth of a market economy, or the quality of a neighborhood? Conversely, how does distrust foster the emergence of various forms of corruption? Such questions, along with related but more general ones about the ways in which social capital—understood broadly as networks of trust and social norms—facilitate democracy and development, form the basis of this week-long mini seminar. We shall begin by exploring current strains in social capital theory, as much of what is contained in the existing literature includes extended discussions of the causal power of trust networks to facilitate individual and collective actions of various kinds. From there we shall narrow our discussion to an analysis of current theories and measurements of trust, and the complex relationship among trust, inequality, segregation and corruption. Finally, we shall consider the role of trust in fostering democratic cultures and institutions in transitioning countries.
Format: Lecture, extensive discussion, and group presentations by seminar participants (schedule and structure of presentations to be determined, but all presentations will be given on the last day of the seminar).
Requirements: Active and informed participation in all lectures and discussions, final oral presentation, and research paper (submission to be made electronically on or before 1 May 2011).
Online Resources: There are countless online resources devoted to trust, corruption, and social capital. For our purposes, some of the more relevant sites include:
The World Bank (
Transparency International (
Social Capital Gateway (
Center for Deliberative Democracy (
The Saguaro Seminar (
Schedule of Readings
Day I: Trust, Networks, and Norms: An Introduction to Social Capital Theory
March 21st
Required Readings: Coleman, James S. (1988). ‘Social Capital in the Creation of
Human Capital’ American Journal of Sociology 94 (Supplement): 13-39
Text available online:
Putnam, Robert. (1995). ‘Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital’ Journal of Democracy 6.1: 65-78.
Text available online:
Bourdieu, Pierre. (1983). ‘The Forms of Capital’
Text online:
Suggested Readings: ‘What is Social Capital?’ The World Bank
Text online:,,contentMDK:20185163~menuPK:418217~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:401015,00.html
Elster, Jon. (2008). ‘Social Norms and the Explanation of Behavior’ Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
Text available online:
Becker, Gary S. (1992). ’The Economic Way of Looking at Life’ Nobel Prize Lecture
Text available online:
Day II. Theories and Measurements of Trust
March 22nd
Required Readings: Hardin, Russell. (2004). ‘Trust’ in Trust and Trustworthiness
Text available online:
Uslaner, Ric. (2008). ‘Trust as a Moral Value’ Handbook of Social Capital
Text available online:
Healy, Tom. (2002). ‘The Measurement of Social Capital at the International Level’
Text available online:
Suggested Readings: Uslaner, Ric. (2006). ‘Measuring Trust and the Problem of Clumping’
Text available online:
World Bank ‘Social Capital Assessment Tool’
Text available online:,,contentMDK:20193049~menuPK:418220~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:401015~isCURL:Y,00.html
Mateju, Petr, & Vitaskova, Anna. (2009) ‘Interpersonal Trust and Mutually Beneficial Exchanges’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 7)
Sedlackova, Marketa & Safr, Jiri. (2009) ‘Social Trust and Civic Participation in the Czech Republic’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 9)
Day III. Trust, Inequality, Segregation, and Corruption
March 23rd
Required Readings: Caldeira, Teresa. (1996). ‘Fortified Enclaves: The New Urban Segregation’ Public Culture 9
Photocopy of text to be distributed
Lewandowski, Joseph. (2008). ‘On Social Poverty’ Journal of Poverty 12.1
Text available online:
Ivanov, Andrey et al. (2006). ‘At Risk: Roma and the Displaced in Southeast Europe’ United Nations Development Report
Text available online:
Transparency International Romania
Suggested Readings: Vergara, Camilo. Invincible Cities
Interactive website:
Uslaner, Ric. (2008). ‘Corruption, Inequality, and Trust’ in The Handbook on Social Capital
Text available online:
Uslaner, Ric & Rothstein, Bo. (2005). ‘Equality, Corruption, and Social Trust’ World Politics 58
Text available online:
Lewandowski, Joseph. (2009). ‘Elites Without Borders’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 5)
Day IV. Trust, Democracy, and Development in Transition Countries
March 24th
Required Readings: Elster, Jon. (1990). ‘When Communism Dissolves’ London Review of Books
Photocopy of text to be distributed
Uslaner, Eric. (2009). ‘Coping and Social Capital: The Informal Sector and the Democratic Transition in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 1)
Pensky, Max. (2009). ‘Transition, Amnesty, and Social Trust’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 4)
Democracy Index 2010
Text available online:
Dewey, John. (1939). ‘Creative Democracy: The Task Before Us’
Text available online:
Suggested Readings : Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa. (2000). ‘Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy’ World Bank Observer 15.2: 225-249.
Text available online:
Bozovic, Iva. (2009). ‘Economizing on Transaction Costs: The Role of Social Networks in Transition’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 2)
Barsa, Pavel. (2009). ‘Sources of Civic Solidarity’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 6)
Znoj, Milan. (2009). ‘The Paradox of Post-Communist Civil Society’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 10)
Skovajsa, Marek. (2009). ‘Two Faces of Civil Society in Post-Communist Countries’ in Trust and Transitions (Chapter 11)
Day V. Student Presentations
March 25th


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