Department of Government
New publication

How culture may nurture institutional trust

Ishtiaq Jamil and Hasan Muhammad Baniamin with new insights from Bangladesh and Nepal

Ishtiaq Jamil

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Ishtiaq Jamil have published a new article together with Hasan Muhammad Baniamin with the title "How culture may nurture institutional trust: Insights from Bangladesh and Nepal" in Development Policy Review. 

Most studies of the normative roots of political trust argue that they stem from policy performance rather than from cultural orientation. That sits at odds with the observation that institutional trust—that is, citizens’ confidence in public agencies is high in Bangladesh and Nepal despite poor policy performance.

The article assesses the influence of policy performance and cultural orientation of citizens in Bangladesh and Nepal on institutional trust. It draws on country representative surveys (Governance and Trust Survey 2) in Bangladesh and Nepal carried out in 2014–15. It identifies cultural preferences and specifically authoritarian cultural orientation (ACO) characterized by deference to authority, un-questioning obedience, and reliance on authorities and compares this to institutional trust.

High authoritarian cultural orientation (ACO) can lead citizens to trust public institutions. People’s submissiveness to the country’s authorities can obstruct critical thinking and even create positive impressions of the authorities, which in turn generates institutional trust. Institutions that are more visible and exert more authority may attract greater trust among citizens who exhibit ACO.

Read full article HERE