Cultural warfare and trust: fighting the Mafia in Palermo concentrates on a central issue in research on democratic processes: the development of generalised trust. The existence of generalised trust and confidence in a society is decisive for economic development and an effective democracy. Is it possible to fight persistent values of distrust and non-cooperation? Is it possible to support the development of generalised trust through public action and education? The book addresses these questions by examining political efforts to combat Palermo’s Mafia-controlled heritage and to turn a tradition of non-cooperation and distrust into cooperation and trust. In particular, it focuses on the school program launched in Palermo during the mid-1990s, which was designed to break the Mafia’s territorial and mental control. Combining theories on social capital and civic education, the author presents and analyses new quantitative and qualitative research carried out in seven public schools in Palermo. This book will be valuable to students, academics and researchers interested in social capital and trust, Italian politics, civic education, organised crime, local government and democratic practice.
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