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Trust: The New Foundations of Global Prosperity Hardcover – 1 Aug 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 457 pages
  • Publisher: The Free Press; 28th edition (1 Aug 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0029109760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0029109762
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.4 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 829,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Amitai Etzioni "Washington Post Book World" The ultimate book for those who seek to understand economics but realize that they are nestled in societies and cultures. A whole new way of doing economics. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama, a senior social scientist at the Rand Corporation, lives in McLean, Virginia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
As we approach the twenty-first century, a remarkable convergence of political and economic institutions has taken place around the world. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Feb 1997
Format: Hardcover
As a result of his previous major work Francis Fukuyama achieved fame as the man who predicted 'the end of history'. With this new work he has turned his attention from the political arena to consider comparative international economic performance. He describes the broad theme of Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity as follows; "that social capital has a significant impact on the vitality and scale of economic organizations".

Many commentators have tried to evaluate the importance of culture in determining national economic success. Fukuyama claims to have identified the key, performance-determining, aspect of national culture, namely, the level of trust present in a society. He maintains that culture is of critical importance to everyday economic life and that only high trust societies can create the kind of large scale business enterprises that are needed to compete in today's global economy.

The culturalist view of history attributes the success of Japan and later of other East Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan to their common Confucian traditions and their concomitant cultural characteristics. However, the traditional drawing of distinctions between Eastern and Western cultures is seen as too simplistic by Fukuyama, who points out the many differences inherent in East Asian societies. He points out not only the differences between Japan and China, but also those between China and Chinese societies abroad such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. This attention to detail and depth of analysis is one of the strengths of Fukuyama's study.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 24 Sep 2004
Format: Paperback
In this challenging book, author Francis Fukuyama examines the role of "trust" in economics. He proposes that it is the social capital of a given country (or even area within a country) that defines how its economy functions. In a high-trust society, individuals have a propensity to join voluntary organizations, and as such there are likely to be many organizations (including business organizations), of all sizes. In a low-trust society, where individuals are only able to organize within their own clan or family, organizations are likely to be either small, or very large (and state-operated). Along the way, he examines countries around the globe, but focusing primarily on China and the Confusion countries, Italy, France and Korea (as low-trust societies), and Japan, Germany and the United States (as high-trust societies).
I found this book to be quite fascinating. I must admit that I am not an expert on economics, but I found the author's arguments quite convincing. His examination of various countries explained a lot of things that I have noticed before, but he succeeds in putting it all into a whole new paradigm. I highly enjoyed this though-provoking book, and recommend it to everyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Nov 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you are a post-modern liberal-minded type, swear by the perfectibility of democratic capitalism and put your faith in the healing powers arational phenomena like culture and religion have on our over-busy life then you would like this book. Moreover, if you are a sociologist then you would appreciate the lucidity of thought and tenacity of argument that the author shows when he examines different societies. Even then if you are a leading American political scientist and a best-seller author then you must be Francis Fukuyama himself.
Francis Fukuyama's book comes as a sequel to his magnum opus 'The End of History and The Last Man' which made waves in academic circles. In this book he claimed that after the demise of communism, history had virtually come to a halt - income the free market concepts like de-regulation, liberalization and free competition and all others exeunt.
In his latest book, he adds another ingredient for the making of a successful society - social capital. The author gives the idea of trust. According to him trust is the expectation that arises within a community of regular, honest, and cooperative behaviour, based on commonly shared norms, on part of other members of that community.
He divides societies on the basis of the quantum of trust that exists therein. China, France, Korea and Italy are low-trust societies whereas Japan, Germany, America are high-trust.
He starts from social set-up and correlates it with the industrial structure a society may evolve for itself, and tells how the former determines the position of a country in the global diversion of labour. Though people may interact through contract lams but if they trust each other the cost may be effectively reduced.
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By A Customer on 8 Dec 1997
Format: Paperback
Fukuyama's Trust is a valuable piece of work offering an interesting insight into the civil-society school of thought. However, the new right implications of his analysis is worrying to a reader uncomfortable with the lack of paternalism of American political culture. Fukuyama expands upon theories as posited by others ranging from Weber to state-centered theorists such as Eric Nordlinger producing a piece of literature that expands upon contemporary explanations of modern economic and subsequently, political development. One flaw in Fukuyama's argument is that it is too reuductionist in its scope, considering only those examples which best fit his argument, while neglecting those variables which could do damage to his overall claims. Furthermore, Fukuyama is too harsh in explaining why certain groups are ultimately more successful than others, neglecting to consider various very real exigences certain communities face today. His approach in this regard would be very comfortable within the political camp headed by the Dan Quayles and Preston Mannings of our political world. Notwithstanding this criticism though, Trust proves to be an incredible read, allowing one to consider elements which for the most part have been overlooked in contemporary political study. It was very difficult to put down.
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