Networking and Trust During the Cold War (An Introduction)


The article examines different concepts of the term “trust” within the social sciences, summarising the most important attitudes of experts on the importance of trust in modern societies. Trust and distrust have continually influenced the structure of social hierarchies and been decisive factors for acceptance, exclusion, and control. This analysis focuses primarily on the phenomenon of political and interpersonal trust—or the lack thereof—in both democratic and communist regimes. In geographic terms, the text is anchored in Czechoslovakia and neighbouring soviet satellites, with a slight overlap of selected African countries. It deals predominantly with the bilateral relationships between citizens and political institutions, and between institutions and their representatives, especially during transition periods following political crises.