In a new blog post from the Democracy Fund, Srik Gopal, vice president of strategy, learning, and impact at the Democracy Fund, and FSG’s Francesca Mazzola discuss the low levels of trust in American institutions today, investigate the concepts of trust and trustworthiness, and explore how we can build confidence and participation in American democracy by strengthening trust in institutions and systems.
“For the Democracy Fund, and anyone else working on improving American democracy, it is hard to ignore the fact that trust in institutions is remarkably low by historical standards. This is especially true for Democracy Fund’s 3 main areas of focus – media and journalism, Congress, and elections. There are several factors that have led to this. For instance, our Congress and Public Trust systems map explores how the actions of members of Congress and their staff, the media, and the public interact to create the current state of Congress.
Previously, we talked a bit about why this decline in trust matters. The question now becomes, “can anything be done about it?” And in our efforts to do something about it, do we focus on trust, trustworthiness, or both?”