The Monist 98 (4):375-390 (2015)

Yann Allard-Tremblay
McGill University
This paper aims to deflate the idea that democracy would be in essence a privileged locus of civic trust. Three claims are defended: (1) there is nothing specific to democracy regarding the affirmation that trust is required for social cooperation; (2) democracy, when conceived discursively, depends on guarded epistemic trust and; (3) popular control may require, in some contexts, institutions that express and foster distrust towards a specific section of the population. The conclusion to be drawn is that the appropriateness of trust for the achievement of popular control over government depends on a contextual and realist assessment.
Keywords Trust  Distrust  Democracy  Epistemic Trust
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DOI 10.1093/monist/onv019
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