Trust is central to cooperation and it is often taken for granted that trust is higher among members of an identity group than between groups. However, apart from assimilation or creating new overarching identities, we lack a compelling explanation for trust-building. In this paper we develop a model for trust-building between members of different identity groups that considers the role of ingroup attachment and outgroup hostility, and which is based on taking chances with others in order to observe their behaviour and determine their trustworthiness. Our findings suggest that to build trust between identity groups, the first mover must have ingroup attachment, be relatively un-hostile toward the other group, have flexible beliefs so that it responds to new information about the other group, and be in a structure where interaction involves limited but real risks. We illustrate the model with examples from the end of the Cold War and the transition to democracy in South Africa.   

Speaker: Professor Andrew Kydd (University of Wisconsin)

Recorded: Thursday 14th May 2015 (17:00-18:30)

Professor Andrew Kydd received his Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 1996 and taught at the University of California, Riverside and Harvard University before joining the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 2007. His interests centre on the game theoretic analysis of international security issues such as proliferation, terrorism, trust and conflict resolution. He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, World Politics, and International Security, among other journals. His book, Trust and Mistrust in International Relations,was published in 2005 by Princeton University Press and won the 2006 Conflict Processes Best Book Award.

*Based on a paper by Yoshiko M. Herreray and Andrew Kydd

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