Trust: the key to social cohesion and growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

Hosted by the Department of International Development and the Latin America and Caribbean Centre

Online public event


Philip Keefer

Philip Keefer

Professor Aldo Madariaga

Professor Aldo Madariaga

Dr Erin McFee

Dr Erin McFee


Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Professor Jean-Paul Faguet

Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be one of the slowest growing regions in the world and its citizens among the least satisfied with democracy. We trace these phenomena back to a crisis of trust and citizenship in the region.

Trust is the belief that others will not act opportunistically. It is faith in others—in their honesty, dependability, and goodwill. Trustworthy people make promises they can keep, follow through on those promises, and do not violate social norms. When trust is absent, society and its members suffer: citizens demand and politicians supply public policies that do not advance collective welfare, feeding disenchantment with democracy; citizens and government officials demand increasing regulation and red tape that slow growth and restrict access to social programs; and the performance of firms and public sector organisations declines as mistrust undermines collaboration, recruitment and innovation. The event discusses the sources and consequences of mistrust and reforms that can offset it.

Meet our speakers and chair

Philip Keefer is Principal Advisor of the Institutions for Development Department of the Inter-American Development Bank. He was formerly a Lead Research Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank.

Aldo Madariaga (@AldoMadariaga) is Professor at the School of Political Science, Diego Portales University, and Associate Researcher at the Center for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES). He is the author of the award-winning book Neoliberal Resilience. Lessons in Democracy and Development from Latin America and Eastern Europe (Princeton University Press, 2020).

Erin McFee (@erinmcfee) is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, leading the project “Trust after Betrayal: Global development interventions in the shadow of organised violence”. She completed her PhD in Human Development at The University of Chicago, an MA in the same, and obtained an MBA from Simmons University in Boston.

Jean-Paul Faguet (@jpfaguet) is Professor of the Political Economy of Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Co-Programme Director of the MSc in Development Management. He is also Chair of the Decentralization Task Force at Columbia University’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue.

More about this event

The Department of International Development (@LSE_ID) promotes interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change.

The Latin America and Caribbean Centre (@LSE_LACC) is the focal point for LSE’s research and public engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, the Centre builds upon the School’s long and important relationship with the region.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSETrust

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A podcast of this event is available to download from Trust: the key to social cohesion and growth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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