Trust, Democracy, and Multicultural Challenges

Paperback | May 24, 2012

byPatti Tamara Lenard

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Banning minarets by referendum in Switzerland, publicly burning Korans in the United States, prohibiting kirpans in public spaces in Canada—these are all examples of the rising backlash against diversity that is spreading across multicultural societies. Trust has always been precarious, and never more so than as a result of increased immigration. The number of religions, races, ethnicities, and cultures living together in democratic communities and governed by shared political institutions is rising. The failure to construct public policy to cope with this diversity—to ensure that trust can withstand the pressure that diversity can pose—is a failure of democracy. The threat to trust originates in the perception that the values and norms that should underpin a public culture are no longer truly shared. Therefore, societies must focus on building trust through a revitalized public culture. In Trust, Democracy, and Multicultural Challenges, Patti Tamara Lenard plots a course for this revitalization. She argues that trust is at the center of effective democratic politics, that increasing ethnocultural diversity as a result of immigration may generate distrust, and therefore that democratic communities must work to generate the conditions under which trust between newcomers and “native” citizens can be built, so that the quality of democracy is sustained.

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Banning minarets by referendum in Switzerland, publicly burning Korans in the United States, prohibiting kirpans in public spaces in Canada—these are all examples of the rising backlash against diversity that is spreading across multicultural societies. Trust has always been precarious, and never more so than as a result of increased i...

Patti Tamara Lenard is Assistant Professor of Ethics at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.02 × 6.06 × 0.47 inPublished:May 24, 2012Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271052546

ISBN - 13:9780271052540

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Trust, Democracy, and Multicultural Challenges

1 Trust Defined

2 Trust as a Foundational Democratic Value

3 Distrust, Mistrust, and Democracy

4 Public Culture and Trust

5 Trust and Ethnocultural Diversity in Multicultural Democracies

6 Severely Divided Societies, Trust, and the Struggle for Democracy

7 Guiding Trust Building in Democracies

Conclusion: The Challenges of Multiculturalism?

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“This is an important contribution to our thinking about a major issue for contemporary democratic politics. It draws on a broad array of literature, bringing together philosophy, sociology, political science, and political theory. Patti Tamara Lenard combines impressive powers of synthesis with a keen practical sense of the problems and dilemmas of trust.”

—Matthew Festenstein, University of York