The Role of Trust in Political Corruption: Outline of the Subject


The article is an attempt to analyze the relations between political trust and one of the greatest problems of the public domain: political corruption. It seems obvious that corrupt behaviors revealed in the public space are supposed to undermine citizens' political trust. This thesis has been empirically verified many times. The author of the paper presents the cause and effect model with institutional trust as the independent variable. The article is an attempt to analyze the possible directions of its influence on political corrupt behaviors, assuming political trust to be the starting point, not the consequence, of the "social disease" occurring in the public domain.


Key words:
political corruption, political trust, political behaviors

Anderson C, Tverdova Y. (2003), Corruption, Political Allegiance and Attitudes Toward Government in Contenporary Democracies, „American Journal of Political Science”, 47(1): 91-109.

Baier A. (1986), Trust and antitrust, „Ethics”, 96(2): 231-260.

Banfield E.C. (1958), The Moral Basis of A Backward Society, New York: The Free Press,

Bjørnskov C., (2003), The Happy Few. Cross-Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction, „Kyklos” 56(1): 3-16.

Blind Peri K. (2006), Building Trust in Government in Twenty-First Century: Review of Literature and Emerging Issues,,d.bGg (20/08/2015).

Chang E., Chu Y.H. (2006), Corruption and Trust: Exceptionalism in Asian Democracies? „The Journal of Politics”, 68(2): 259-271.

Citrin J. (1974), The political relevance of trust in government, „American Political Science Review” 68(3): 973-988.

Cleary M. R., Stokes S. C. (2006), Democracy and the culture of skepticism: Political trust in Argentina and Mexico, New York, NY: Russell Sage.

Clegg S., Hardy C. (ed.) (1996), Handbook of Organization Studies, London: Sage.

Coleman, J. S. (1988), Social capital in the creation of human capital, „The American Journal of Sociology”, 94: 95-120.

Cwalina W., Falkowski A. (2006), Marketing polityczny, perspektywa psychologiczna, Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

Della Porta D. (2000), Social capital, beliefs in government and political corruption, [in:] S. J. Pharr, R. D. Putnam (Eds.), Disaffected democracies: What’s troubling the trilateral countries?, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Easton D. (1965), A Systems Analysis of Political Life, New York: Wiley.

Fenno R. (1978), Home style: representative in their districts, Boston: Little and Brown.

Fukuyama F. (1997), Zaufanie. Kapitał społeczny a droga do dobrobytu, Warszawa-Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Groenendijk N. (1997), A Principal-Agent Model of Corruption, „Crime, Law and Social Change” 27: 207-229.

Guerrero M. A., del Castillo A. (2003), Percepciones y Representaciones de Corrupción en la Ciudad de México: ¿Predisposición al Acto Corrupto? [Perceptions and representations of corruption in Mexico City: A predisposition to corrupt acts?]. Paper presented at the meeting of the Escuela Iberoamerican de Gobierno y Política Pública, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica, Mexico City, Mexico.

Guy Peters B. (1999), Administracja publiczna w systemie demokratycznym, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Hetherington M.J. (2005), Why Trust Matters: Declining Political Trust and the Demise of American Liberalism, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Inglehart R. (1999), Trust, Well-Being and Democracy, [in M. E. Warren (ed.), Democracy and Trust, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Keele L. (2004), Social Capital, Government Performance, and Dynamics of Trust in Government, (October 23, 2004): 1-34. Accessible at (accessed 19/07/2015).

Lane R. E. (1959), Political life: Why and how people get involved in politics, New York, NY: Free Press.

LaVallee E., Razafindrakoto M., Roubaud F. (2008), Corruption and Trust in Political Institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, working paper 102, Afrobarometer, (12/07/2015).

Levi M., Stoker L. (2000), Political trust and trustworthiness, „Annual Review of Political Science” 3: 475-507.

Lewicka-Strzałecka A. (2006), Moralność ekonomiczna w krajach europejskich, [in] H. Domański, A. Ostrowska, P.B. Sztabiński (ed.), W środku Europy, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN.

Lipset S. M., Schneider W. (1983), The Confidence Gap: Business, Labor, and Government in the Public Mind, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Luhmann N. (1979), Trust and Power, New York: Wiley.

Otte C. (1999), How can we trust our fellow citizens? [in:] M.E. Warren (ed.), Democracy and Trust, Cambridge: University Press.

Pechlivanos L. (2002), Self-Enforcing Corruption: Information Transmission and Organizational Response. Paper presented at Corrupt Transactions – Exploring the Analytical Capacity of New Institutional Economics in Göttingen, November.

Putnam R. (1993), Making Democracy Work. Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Putnam R. (2000), Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, New York: Simon and Schuster.

Rothstein B. (2004), Social Trust and Honesty in Government: A Causal Mechanism Approach, [in] J. Kornai, B. Rothstein, S. Rose-Ackerman (ed.), Creating Social Trust in Post-Socialist Transitions, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rothstein B., Stolle D. (2001), Social Capital and Street-Level Bureaucracy: An Institutional Theory of Generalized Trust, paper for Trust in Government conference at Princeton University, 30 November 2001, accessible on: (4/05/2005).

Rothstein B., Stolle D. (2001A), How Political Institutions Create and Destroy Social Capital: A Institutional Theory of Generalized Trust, (20/08/2015).

Seligson M. (2002), The Impact of Corruption on Regime and LEgitimacy: A Comparative of Four Latin American Countries, „Journal of Politics”, 64(2): 408-433.

Sztompka P. (1997), Czy kryzys zaufania w społeczeństwie polskim, „Acta Collegium Invisibile” volume 2.

Turska-Kawa A. (2015), Determinanty chwiejności wyborczej, Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.

Uslaner E.M (2002), Trust and Corruption, paper prepared for presentation at the 2002 Annual Meetings of the American Political ScienceAssociation, Boston, August 29-September, 2002. Copyright 2002, American Political, Science Association,,d.bGg (accessed: 12/08/2015)

Warren M.E. (1996), Deliberative democracy and authority, “American Political Science Review”, 90(1): 46-60.

Warren M.E. (2006), Democracy and Deceit. Regulating Appearances of Corruption, „American Journal of Political Science” 50(1): 160-74.

Where Trust is High, Crime and Corruption are Low, Pew Research Servey, (10/08/2015).


Published : 2015-06-01

Turska-Kawa, A. (2015). The Role of Trust in Political Corruption: Outline of the Subject. Political Preferences, (11). Retrieved from

Agnieszka Turska-Kawa

All articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0).