Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > The Moral Foundations of Trust
The Moral Foundations of Trust


  • 19 b/w illus. 38 tables
  • Page extent: 314 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.63 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 302.5
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HM1071 .U75 2002
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Trust--Social aspects
    • Trust--Moral and ethical aspects
    • Social participation
    • Trust--United States
    • Social participation--United States

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521812139 | ISBN-10: 0521812135)

The Moral Foundations of Trust seeks to explain why people place their faith in strangers, and why doing so matters. Trust is a moral value that does not depend upon personal experience or on interacting with people in civic groups or informal socializing. Instead, we learn to trust from our parents, and trust is stable over long periods of time. Trust depends on an optimistic world view: the world is a good place and we can make it better. Trusting people are more likely to give through charity and volunteering. Trusting societies are more likely to redistribute resources from the rich to the poor. Trust has been in decline in the United States for over 30 years. The roots of this decline are traceable to declining optimism and increasing economic inequality, which Uslaner supports by aggregate time series in the United States and cross-sectional data across market economies.

• This is a book that seeks to link interests of moral philosophers to those of more quantitatively oriented social scientists • The book will be of interest to people in a variety of disciplines • The book will add a new dimension to the growing interest in the consequences of economic inequality


1. Trust and the good life; 2. Strategic trust and moralistic trust; 3. Counting (on) trust; 4. The root of trust; 5. Trust and experience; 6. Stability and change in trust; 7. Trust and consequences; 8. Trust and the democratic temperament; Epilogue: trust and the civic community.


'The Moral Foundations of Trust provides a definitive account of where the trust literature has been, and where it might go in the future. Uslaner's views on that future clearly imply a refined, and perhaps a more important role for public administrators than previously believed. For that reason, this work warrants serious attention within the public administration community.' Justin Marlowe, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

'That the book is accessible equally to general and specialized audiences should insure that it is widely read and help it become a standard in this crowded field. The Moral Foundations of Trust deserves a careful reading not only because of the prococative arguments it vigorously defends, but also, because … its determined optimism just makes you feel good.' Journal of Public Policy

'… often fascinating …' Political Studies Review

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis