Social Trust, Risk Management, and Culture: Insights from Native America
The last few decades have witnessed significant controversy over the societal management of health and environmental risks - those arising from natural sources as well as by-products of technological developments. In attempting to manage these risks, governments, industries, and scientific experts have been unable to measure up to the public’s expectation of safety. Consequently there has been an increase in public dissatisfaction with risk management efforts, rejection of proposals which entail risk, and the emergence of sharp differences between the public’s and experts’ attitudes towards risks and their management. Scholars attempting to understand these developments from different intellectual foundations have moved toward a focus on social trust as central to the resolution of risk management controversies. The essential idea is that if social trust could be developed, risk management controversies would disappear and society would arrive at a balanced and judicious portfolio of risks and risk management strategies.