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The Third SectorCommunity Organizations, NGOs, and Nonprofits$
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Meghan Elizabeth Kallman and Terry Nichols Clark

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040436

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040436.001.0001

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Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Understanding Associations and Trust Patterns

(p.191) 8. Looking Forward
The Third Sector

Meghan Elizabeth Kallman

Terry Nichols Clark

Cary Wu

Jean Yen-Chun Lin

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the issues of legitimacy and trust by focusing on membership in different types of social organizations. More specifically, it considers how leaders in different political situations can marshal trust in the name of governance. Noting that trust, both political and social, has been significantly decreasing in most democratic societies in recent decades, the chapter asks whether this decrease in trust can be attributed to the decline in voluntary associations. Using data from the fifth wave of the World Values Survey conducted across more than fifteen countries between 2005 and 2008, it shows that there is little evidence of a specific decline in associational life in those countries, including the United States. Three patterns that characterize the relationship between associations and trust are identified: associations promote trust, associations increase distrust, and associations have nothing to do with trust.

Keywords:   legitimacy, trust, social organizations, governance, voluntary associations, World Values Survey, associational life, associations

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