Political Trust and Petitioning in the Chinese Countryside
Comparative Politics, Vol. 40, No. 2, January 2008
18 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2008
Date Written: January 10, 2008
The paper examines the significance of distinguishing trust in government's commitment from trust in its competence for understanding the relationship between political trust and political participation. It finds that Chinese farmers have more trust in the central government's commitment to protect their rights and interests than in its capacity to do so. Trust in the Center's competence carries more weight than trust in its commitment in accounting for the propensity to petition. Petitioning tends to weaken trust the Center's capacity as well as trust in its commitment. Distrust of the Center's commitment enhances propensity to engage in more assertive forms of political participation.
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