Fidelity, Accountability and Trust: Tensions at the Heart of the Rule of Law
26 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2018
Date Written: February 19, 2018
From the notions of fidelity, accountability, and trust springs a robust and attractive understanding of the rule of law. Yet, frequently it has been argued that accountability drives out trust, that it is from distrust that the demand for accountability stems. We should not look to law and its ethos of accountability to hold human communities together or even to underwrite a robust program of controlling the exercise of ruling power. I call this the “trust challenge.” If the trust challenge is sound, the rule of law looks to be self-defeating, at least on the understanding of the rule of law that I have sought to defend in recent years. In this essay I answer this challenge. I argue that, in fact, accountability and trust are close allies in interpersonal morality and civic life.
Keywords: rule of law, fidelity, trust, accountability, proleptic trust, distrust, mistrust
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