Dr. Dobrinka Kostova: Democracy and Trust

28. 8. 2012

13. 9. 2012 ve 14:00 hodin v AKC, Husova 4a, Praha 1

Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., si Vás dovoluje pozvat na přednášku


Democracy and Trust

Dr. Dobrinka Kostova

Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS)


ve čvrtek 13. 9. 2012 ve 14:00 hodin v AKC, Husova 4a, Praha 1.



The central objective of the presentation is to reveal the significance of trust to a successful democratic development. In post-socialist Bulgaria the cohesion is high on its agenda. In this frame, trust building, as a key challenge for a successful transformation process, is increasingly needed as a fundamental premise for cooperation and social integration in the process of democratization, reforming governance, establishing local institutions, rebuilding civil society and validating the acknowledged human and natural potential of a state like Bulgaria. The social science analyses as well as some empirical data (INTUNE and Trust, Cooperation and Integration, SCOPES) reveal that Southeast Europe and Bulgaria particularly is characterised with very low trust to institutions and among people. In the conditions of mistrust there is a trend of appropriating common good by personalising social relations. Of specific significance is the analysis of low trust societies in which members, individuals and institutions alike are incapable of cooperating or possess other types of trust and cooperation than the ones in the high trust societies. There is a need for deeper understanding of contextual conditions, forces and factors for overcoming low trust status of post socialist societies. Low trust society as the post-socialist Bulgarian one is permeated by a deep-seated culture of concealment. Although its members might consider such type of relationships, together with the related action strategies, as immoral, abhorrent, and illegal, these are used because being socially and culturally legitimate they represent the best way for the parties involved to protect themselves from the dangers and traps scattered over the entire public sphere. Therefore, informal alliances among friends and acquaintances, clientele cartels and connections of corruption and extortion are the functional equivalent of trust and represent the necessary social capital to survive in the public sphere’s transitional world.