The balance between trust and distrust is crucial for the functioning of governments and the public sector. Public sector reforms inspired by New Public Management (NPM) introduced new tools that are arguably based on mutual distrust between governmental actors. More recently, trust has been rediscovered as a functional phenomenon facilitating interactions, reducing transaction costs, and creating innovation. At the same time, public distrust towards government has remained solidly on the agenda. Moreover, trust is closely linked to reputation and the recent scholarly debate over accountability and reputation in government is closing in on pre-existing work on trust.
This seminar introduces key theoretical approaches to study and explain trust and reputation in government as well as their consequences. We will discuss three clusters: (1) Trust of citizens and organisations vis-à-vis government and the public sector as well as the reputation of these governmental organisations, (2) trust of government vis-à-vis its citizens, and (3) inter-organisational and inter-personal trust and reputation within the public sector. We will discuss recent empirical findings on these clusters of research and conduct primary analyses of selected cases in Germany and Europe.
We will NOT provide the seminar literature on Moodle. Instead, you are asked to research the texts yourself (library of the University of Potsdam or adjacent academic institutions in Berlin and online, if need be via VPN).
Researching the relevant academic texts is a crucial and important part of academic work and not only relevant for our seminar and its class sessions and discussions but also for the completion of term papers and MA theses. Hence we provide the opportunity to advance and master this important skill. For questions you may contact the team of the chair: firstname.lastname@example.org