T01P03 - Roles of Trust in Policy Process

Topic : Policy Process Theories

Panel Chair : Hyung Jun Park - hjpark72@skku.edu

Panel Second Chair : MINHYO Cho - chomh@skku.edu

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

From the perspective of governance and social capital, trust is conceptualized as a critical contextual element which enables cooperation and facilitates actors to participate in the public policy process as well as resolves conflicts. This is because trust and network reduces the transaction costs involved in mutual distrust and the monitoring process.

Most studies of social capital have focused on collaboration or government trust of which citizens possess. Government trust enhances the policy compliance of citizens and induces continuous and pragmatic responses to complex problems. However, extant studies are limited in discussing the scope of government-citizen collaboration by assuming a unilateral direction of trust on part of the citizens toward their government. This panel defines the level of trustworthiness that the public policymaker has towards citizens as a major factor in the policymaking process. That is, we believe that trustworthy behavior and characteristics of citizens are important elements in determining the level of trust public policymakers possess toward them. The ability, benevolence, and integrity of citizens compose the indicators of their trustworthiness. At the same time, perceptions or judgments of the trustworthiness of citizens are affected by diverse interactions and role perceptions that the public policymakers hold. The interaction public policy makers have with citizens needs to be carefully analyzed through the institutional mechanisms of interaction and the group characteristics of citizens.

Call for papers

The purpose of this panel is to bring together scholars and practitioners from diverse public policy fields and countries to discuss theoretical and practical issues of the “Role of Trust in Public Policy Processes Under Complexity”. The panel aims to offer a valuable opportunity to discuss various roles of trust in each countries’ policy process. We welcome theory-driven research as well as practical case studies with comparative perspectives.

The panel collects both theoretical and empirical papers exploring different expressions of citizens’ trust and distrust in their governments as well as the interplay between policymakers’ level of trust toward their citizenry and policy outcome. The objective is to explore the links between trust in government and the policies and institutions of public governance. Papers can cover how trust and specifically trust in government can be defined, how it is measured, and how it may influence citizens attitudes and responses to public policies. In addition, the panel is interested in questions that address trust of government in citizens and organizations and trust within government. Specifically, trust on part of policymakers on their citizens and organizations shape policy design and its outcomes – i.e., the degree of government trust on citizens and businesses is reflected in how government functions and how public services are organized as well as their efficiency and effectiveness.  

Questions the papers could address include, but are not limited to, for example: (i) How do institutions condition the environment to reinforce trust between government and citizens in both directions? (ii) How does trust enable and constrain policy effectiveness or change? (iii) How does the level of trust influence governance structure and policy design? Overall, by offering answers to these questions from different political systems and subsystem contexts, this panel will inform the broader literature on the relationship between trust and public policy process. We plan to conduct collaborative research with authors of accepted papers through funding from the Social Science Korea research project – Developing Dynamic Models of Coexistence and Collaboration.



Export PDF