Public Trust and Governance in the Trilateral Democracies

Benvenuto a
the Official Post Conference Web Site of the Conference on
"Public Trust and Governance
in the Trilateral Democracies"

Rockefeller Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy
June 29 - July 3, 1998

Robert D. Putnam and Susan J. Pharr, Co-Organizers
A Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Now that we have successfully edited the manuscript for the successor volume to The Crisis of Democracy, come take a look at the NEW ADDITIONS to the site, including What's Troubling the Trilateral Democracies? and
downloadable copies of the book chapters.

     This conference sought to unravel one of the central questions of the 1990s for policy makers and scholars alike: In an era when democratic governance has triumphed around the world, why is public confidence in its leaders and institutions at, or near, an all-time low in some of the world's oldest democracies?

          The conference and its resulting volume have capitalized on research in Europe, the United States, and Japan by bringing together a small group of leading scholars to compare ideas and findings on a full range of possible answers to this question and to examine the conditions that either undermine or sustain and even revitalize public trust in relation to democratic governance.

          It was an exceptionally lively and intellectually invigorating conference for all involved, and the book should prove to be equally stimulating. In the ongoing debate, most candidate explanations have been hotly contested, including the claim that social capital in the industrial democracies has declined, and in this discussion group, some questioned or rejected altogether the basic premise that public trust has truly eroded, and/or that this erosion matters. Thus, this conference brought together a diverse and talented group of scholars in a major intellectual adventure.

          Conference Co-Directors Bob Putnam and Susan Pharr invite you to learn more by touring this web site. If you have any questions about travel and circulation of chapters, please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Coordinator:

Emily Morris
1737 Cambridge Street, Room 324
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
phone: (617)495-9992
FAX: (617)496-8083