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The Political Economy of Trust: Institutions, Interests, and Inter-Firm Cooperation in Italy and Germany (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) Hardcover – 24 Aug 2009


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Review

“Farrell’s The Political Economy of Trust is a tour de force. His book takes us through the burgeoning literature on social trust, social capital, institutions, and networks. Farrell has done us a service by clearly distinguishing among these terms, carefully carving out a distinct analytical space for each concept, and identifying their respective explanatory purchase. One of his main goals is to show that the concept of trust provides a deeper understanding of cooperation than institutions by themselves. He succeeds brilliantly.
“Farrell’s masterful treatment of the literatures on social capital, culture, and rational choice approaches to institutions provides us with a more complete picture of the causes and consequences of institutions. His case studies of firms in Emilia Romagna, Italy and Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, along with his final chapter on the Mafia in Sicily provide the ideal material to illustrate his complex ideas and demonstrate their empirical grounding.”
-James A. Caporaso, University of Washington

“Henry Farrell’s important book is a crucial contribution to the literature on social trust, and will be particularly influential among those seeking to understand the roots of coordinated market arrangements in advanced political economies. Boldly bridging the divide between rational-choice microfoundations and institutionalist macro-theorizing, while also bringing in culturalist perspectives, Farrell shows how trust can be grounded in informal institutions that were created for quite different reasons than the production or sustenance of cooperation. In doing so, he provides a powerful new way of understanding the role of trust in social, political, and economic life.”
-Jacob S. Hacker, Yale University

Book Description

Trust and cooperation are at the heart of the two most important approaches to comparative politics - rational choice and political culture. Yet we know little about trust's relationship to political institutions. This book sets out a rationalist theory of how institutions - especially informal institutions - can affect trust without reducing it to fully determine expectations.

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
27 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Trust, with the iStock watermark? 17 May 2010
By Jacques R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The cover image looks as if the image was taken from the iStock image database directly from the web.

Is this an example of how trust is broken or negligence by the cover designer?
7 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Hmmm.... 18 May 2010
By G. Katsoulis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I agree it bodes very poorly for the book that it has the iStock logo, though in all likelihood it was not theft. The more probable scenario is that the art department sent the mock-up version from before final approval and purchase of the art. As a note, it is legal and accepted practice to use a "comp" image in the design phase. It is also highly embarrassing for such an image to go public.

Of course, the additional "copyrighted material" watermark from the publisher adds a pinch of irony.

All that said, even without the watermark, the cover is ugly and poorly designed. Then again, my mother taught me not to judge a book by its cover.
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