Trust: A History

Hardcover | September 17, 2014

byGeoffrey Hosking

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Today there is much talk of a "crisis of trust"; a crisis which is almost certainly genuine, but usually misunderstood. Trust: A History offers a new perspective on the ways in which trust and distrust have functioned in past society, providing an empirical and historical basis against whichthe present crisis can be examined, and suggesting ways in which the concept of trust can be used as a tool to understand our own and other societies.Geoffrey Hosking argues that social trust is mediated through symbolic systems, such as religion and money, and the institutions associated with them, churches and banks. Historically, these institutions have nourished trust, but the resulting trust networks have tended to create quite toughboundaries around themselves, across which distrust is projected against outsiders. Hosking also shows how nation-states have been particularly good at absorbing symbolic systems and generating trust among large numbers of people, while also erecting rigid boundaries around themselves, despite anincreasingly global economy. He asserts that in the modern world, it has become common to entrust major resources to institutions we know little about, and suggests that we need to learn from historical experience and temper this with more traditional forms of trust, or become an ever moredistrustful society, with potentially very destabilising consequences.

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Today there is much talk of a "crisis of trust"; a crisis which is almost certainly genuine, but usually misunderstood. Trust: A History offers a new perspective on the ways in which trust and distrust have functioned in past society, providing an empirical and historical basis against whichthe present crisis can be examined, and sugge...

Geoffrey Hosking has taught at the universities of Essex, Wisconsin-Madison, Cologne, and University College London. An eminent historian, he has held positions on many boards, panels, and committees, including at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Britain-Russia Centre, and the Index on Censorship. At various times, h...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:September 17, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198712383

ISBN - 13:9780198712381

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. A society of maximum distrust: the Soviet Union in the 1930s2. Why and how to study trust3. Religion4. Commercial trust and money5. Nations and symbols of trust6. Religion and commercial strust in the modern world7. Why trust the nation-state?Conclusions