Invest in Trust as A Road to Superior Local Governance: A Proposal for Research

  • Narong Kiettikunwong Research Group on Local Affairs Administration, College of Local Administration, Khon Kaen University
Keywords: Trust, ethical compass, golden rule, local government, citizenry


Trust in government, especially at local levels is an ongoing topic that interests and draws attention of researchers worldwide. When a government is trusted or is perceived as trustworthy people are more willing to cooperate which usually leads to a better performance. Despite the benefits that a government may gain from being trustworthy, in reality a government will decide to neglect a tendency to be trusted in favor of other incentives it views as more rewarding. The primary goal of this article is to discuss the meaning and all the elements of trust in order to propose to undertake a study to examine why or why not local government chooses to invest in trust using the relevant economists’ tool, the prisoner’s dilemma game theory model, to explain individual and group behavior in the trust relationship between local government and its citizens. Hence, to result in mutually beneficial outcomes, the concept of the Golden Rule will be proposed as a way to embrace investment in trust from both players in the game of trust to overcome distrust and take advantage of mutual cooperation by the local government and the citizen. The output of this article can act as a basis for knowledge that will be used in future relevant research, especially to carry forward practical recommendations on the promotion of trust for the local government and the citizen.


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How to Cite
Kiettikunwong, N. (2018). Invest in Trust as A Road to Superior Local Governance: A Proposal for Research. Social Science Asia, 4(2), 15-34. Retrieved from
Research Article