Kim Mannemark Sønderskov

Making Cooperation Work: Generalized Social Trust and Large-N Collective Action

This dissertation investigates the role of generalized social trust in social dilemmas. Generalized social trust is a belief that most people are trustworthy and social trust is argued to enhance cooperation in many social dilemmas faced by citizens in modern societies. Through a series of empirical analyses drawing on survey and national level data from several countries, the dissertation contributes to our knowledge on if, how, and when generalized social trust leads to collective action. The analyses demonstrate that generalized social trust makes cooperation work between actors who do not know one another. Specifically it is shown that citizens with high levels of generalized social trust more readily undertake pro-social behavior like recycling or supporting benevolent associations.

Udgivet september 2008

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