Building Trust in Government

Innovations in Governance Reform in Asia

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The ability of governments and the global community to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, ensure security, and promote adherence to basic standards of human rights depends on people's trust in their government. This book seeks to answer many of the questions raised in reference to means of strengthening trust in government within the Asia Pacific region. Through analyses of trends within North-East Asia, South-East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific Islands and specific innovations and reforms at the country level, it provides various perspectives on the causes of the decline in trust, countries and institutions that have managed to maintain higher degrees of confidence, and governance innovations and practices that have played an important role in strengthening trust once it has faltered.




Over the past few decades, four transformations – globalization, democratization, information and communication technologies, and the end of Soviet-style centralized planning – have had major impacts on the expectations of citizens and the roles of the state. Democratization and increased access to information led to greater demands on the state to deliver services. Many states around the world have been under tremendous stress to meet the rising expectations of citizens. One consequence of the shortfall in the capacity of governments to provide adequate economic opportunities, skills, and access to services has been declining citizen trust in government institutions dealing with representation, law and order, and economic management.


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