Benno Galjart, born in Menaggio, Italy, in 1933. Ph.D. from Wageningen Agricultural University. Chair of Development Sociology at Leiden University.
Fellow (1 September 1998 – 30 June 1999)
Reading and reflecting on the development histories of, and differences between, East Asian and Latin American countries, led to a shift in focus of my research. Originally I had planned to study the guiding ideas and ideologies behind government development policy. However, it became clear that, especially in Latin America, political rather than economic considerations had affected policy. Remarkable too, was the fact that modern employment opportunities and relative income equality had evolved further in East Asia despite a lower level of labour organisation and conflict. Industrialisation requires co-operation, and co-operation in turn depends on trust, unless other methods to assure compliance can be used. I therefore focussed on the varieties of trust to be found in the societies in question. If people primarily trust and are loyal to particular other people, whether kinfolk or not, it enhances co-operation within the groups based on this principle, but it often hinders co-operation in larger groups.
As expected, the cultural context of Japan proved to be entirely different, since in that country a person’s identity depends on his membership of important groups such as an enterprise or a ministry, and he or she is quite willing to co-operate in attaining the group’s goal. However, in Taiwan and Korea particularistic trust turned out to be as important as in Latin America, but its prevalence did not have the same consequences.
Apart from the first version of a chapter on trust, I wrote three other articles