Trust and confidence are topical issues. Pundits claim that citizens trust governments and public services increasingly less - identifying a powerful new erosion of confidence that, in the US, goes back at least to Watergate in the 1970s. Recently, media exposure in the UK about MP expenses has been extensive, and a court case ruled in favor of publishing expense claims and against exempting MPs from the scrutiny which all citizens are subject to under ‘freedom of information.’ As a result, revelations about everything from property speculation to bespoke duck pond houses have fueled public outcry, and survey evidence shows that citizens increasingly distrust the government with public resources.
This book gathers together arguments and evidence to answers questions such as: What is trust? Can trust be boosted through regulation? What role does leadership play in rebuilding trust? How does trust and confidence affect public services? The chapters in this collection explore these questions across several countries and different sectors of public service provision: health, education, social services, the police, and the third sector. The contributions offer empirical evidence about how the issues of trust and confidence differ across countries and sectors, and develop ideas about how trust and confidence in government and public services may adjust in the information age.