Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Chair

Dr. Robert J. Pauly

Committee Chair Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 2

Dr. Edward Sayre

Committee Member 2 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 3

Dr. Joseph St. Marie

Committee Member 3 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Committee Member 4

Dr. Tom Lansford

Committee Member 4 Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

Trust between strangers does not come easily in collectivist societies governed by coercive institutions and subject to unstable market forces. More than one-third of all states are fragile, yet the trust literature has shown little interest in explaining the variability of generalized trust among them; instead fixating on social capital, the consequence of the expansion of generalized trust, putting the cart before the horse and leaving unexamined many of its causes. The enhanced accuracy of the reconfigured World Values Survey trust question has generated new research opportunities to address this concern. This dissertation advances the trust literature through identifying, measuring, and explaining the full social effect on generalized trust in fragile states through group proximity and civil society power differential. Sociological institutionalism and social capital theory provide the theoretical framework for modeling and explaining structural social effects leading to the improbable expansion of generalized trust in the highly scripted fragile sub-Saharan African states of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. These purposefully deviant and least likely test cases are examined using within- and cross-case analysis of necessary and sufficient conditions through most similar multiple comparative case analysis, affirming or confirming most hypotheses. The expansion of generalized trust requires sustained and usually incentivized positive inter-group interaction. In fragile states, most inter-group interaction is conflictual and occurs through civil society because individuals have little capital with which to engage in the market and the state is dysfunctional. The generalized trust radius is likely to widen the more proximate and consociational its civil society is, regardless of how fragile the state is. This dissertation enlarges and strengthens the social explanation for generalized trust variability in fragile states, filling a significant gap in the literature and establishing a research design and model for future research to replicate in other fragile regions.

ORCID ID

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7157-4181

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