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Title: The citizen and trust in the (trustworthy) state
Author: Brown, Rob
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 6869
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2018
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Public sector modernisation has focused on achieving greater efficiency within the institutions and agencies of the state. In comparison the relationship between citizen and state as a basis for service improvement has received less attention. This study helps to redress this balance by exploring the role that trust can play as a mechanism of accountability of the state to the citizen, and as a consequence improving their mutual cooperation. This poses a challenge for the state; to be trusted by citizens, the state must be trustworthy in the eyes of those citizens. Establishing the citizen’s view of the characteristics of the trustworthy state, and how this differs from the norm of trust currently in use within the state, is the subject of the research. The question is addressed through a process of dialogic action research with users and frontline staff of two public services (a housing benefit service and a GP practice). The output of the study is a relational diagnostic, applicable across the public sector, derived from a synthesis of the tests applied by the citizen as they assess the trustworthiness of a public service. The diagnostic is structured around the essential elements of the citizen/state trust relationship. It tests the citizen perception of the respect with which they are held as trustor, the sense of responsibility they perceive in the state as trustee, and the degree to which their consent is important to the governance of the relationship. Applying these tests sets a demanding agenda for change in the management of the state and its agencies, in organising to create a more responsive relationship with service users. The diagnostic structure and tests are designed to be used by public services and citizen groups to improve relationships across the public sector.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Citizen ; trust ; state ; cooperation ; trustworthy ; respect ; consent ; responsibility