Politics and Public Trust – Why Institutions Still Matter

2017: Out with the old, in with the…? As we ponder how a new administration will shake things up at home, populist movements abroad promise substantial change. The Brexit vote, rejection of constitutional reform in Italyrise of right-wing parties in Europe, and Sanders' and Trump's popularity are all indicators of a growing lack of faith in leaders, political systems, and government.

Public trust in the institutions that have guided both national and international systems since World War II has eroded, and globalization, technology, and geopolitical conflict continue to bring change faster than bureaucracies – and sometimes the public – can adapt. It’s timely to explore the role of these institutions, whether they still matter, and the impact of populations’ lack of faith in government.

We will discuss the current climate of public distrust and what institutions must do to perform effectively in a world that moves faster than the speed of bureaucracy at our next policy salon on Monday, Jan. 9th (connect with us here to receive an invitation).

Below are suggested readings (additional articles will be posted on our Facebook page):

1) No One to Trust: Anger That Connects Brexit, Trump, Le Pen (June 2011)
There is a growing lack of faith in the institutions that secured relative peace and prosperity for three generations of Europeans and Americans.

2) How Americans Lost Trust in Our Greatest Institutions (April 2012)
It's not just Washington. Across the country, citizens' faith in their city halls, newspapers, and churches is fading.

3) Lost Legitimacy (November 2013)
Growing dissatisfaction with political elites makes makes effective public and private leadership much more difficult. The result is a global crisis of legitimacy.

4) What Race Tells Us About Anti-Government Attitudes (April 2012)
Communities of color have been failed time and again by federal institutions, yet the same pillars of the American system are responsible for pushing through and upholding progressive advances – from integration in the military and beyond to voting rights equality.