The Building Blocks of Social Trust: The Role of Customary Mechanisms and Property Relations for the Emergence of Social Trust in the Context of the Commons release_2ad7xswkwjdz3punc5eeqtouya

by Marc Goetzmann

Published in Philosophy of the Social Sciences by SAGE Publications.

2021   Volume 51, p347-370


This paper argues that social trust is the emergent product of a complex system of property relations, backed up by a sub-system of mutual monitoring. This happens in a context similar to Ostrom's commons, where cooperation is necessary for the management of resources, in the absence of external authorities to enforce sanctions. I show that social trust emerges in this context because of an institutional structure that enables individuals to develop a generalized disposition to internalize the external effects of their actions. This is made possible by the "patrimonial" nature of this structure.
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