A Trustworthy Government
Our guest today is Margaret Levi, professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University. She talks about her upbringing in a middle-class Jewish suburb, how the protest marches she was going to with her mother, and the books she got from her father made her believe that you have to stand up to something that’s wrong. Her publications concentrate on trust in government, the ways in which citizens and governments interact, about institutions providing a setting in which we feel protected. She talks about the social contract between citizens and their institutional leaders and the role of accountability. The Covid pandemic has produced new insights into citizens’ behaviors. In her book “In the Interest of Others” she explains why members of organizations are willing to engage in costly actions, using the Australian transportation unions as an example. To create trust, credible and fact-based communication is essential. Asked what the challenges are for future generations of political scientists, she mentions the threat democracy is under.