Why the public has lost faith in government and how it can be restored
In 1964, over three-quarters of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time. By 1980, that number had plummeted to 26 percent, and Ronald Reagan won a sweeping victory for the presidency while proclaiming that government was not the solution to our problems but was itself the problem. Today, Americans’ trust in public institutions is at near historic lows and “bureaucracy” and “big government” are pejorative terms.
In Rebuilding Expertise, William D. Araiza investigates the sources of this phenomenon and explains how we might rebuild trust in our public institutions. Written in accessible and engaging language, the author examines the history of this deterioration of trust and reveals how politicians from Clinton to Trump have allowed that deterioration to continue, and, in some cases, actively encouraged it. Using an interdisciplinary approach, with insights from history, political science, law, and public administration, Araiza explores our current bureaucratic malaise and presents a roadmap to finding our way out of it, toward a regime marked by effective, expert regulation that remains democratically accountable and politically legitimate.
A timely and indispensable read, Rebuilding Expertise makes clear what steps must be taken to regain public trust in our government.