Abstract. Scholarship of trust in institutions has tended to see trust and distrust as opposites on one continuum. Theoretical advances have challenged this view, and now consider trust and distrust as different constructs, and thus, as constructs with different characteristics and partly different determinants. Current empirical research on trust in government has yet done little to incorporate these findings, and has largely continued to rely on traditional survey items assuming a trust-distrust continuum. We rely on the literature in organisation studies and political science to argue in favor of measuring citizen trust and distrust as distinct concepts and discuss future research challenges.

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Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Van de Walle, S., & Six, F. (2013). Trust and distrust as distinct concepts: Why studying distrust in institutions is important. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, accepted(2013), 1–28. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/38545