12Institutions and Trust

Reinhard Bachmann

Introduction

Considerable parts of trust research have not shown too much interest in the role of institutions when analysing the development, maintenance or repair of trust. One of the reasons is that, from a psychological perspective, which is applied by many trust researchers, institutions are – if at all – merely conceptualized as external factors which may or may not have “some” effect on the quality of social relationships. In this disciplinary perspective, institutions are usually neither viewed as objects of trust nor as constitutive parts of a relationship between two actors.

Another reason for trust researchers’ relative negligence of institutions is that these are – even from a sociological ...

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