Building Trust

Overcoming Suspicion in International Conflict

By Aaron M. Hoffman

Subjects: Israel Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies, SUNY series in Global Politics
Paperback : 9780791466360, 232 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791466353, 232 pages, December 2005

Table of contents

List of Figures, Tables, and Maps

1. The Problem of Trust in International Relations


Trust and the Interparadigm Debate
Plan of the Book


2. Trust and Trusting Relationships: A Conceptual Analysis


Conceptualizing Trust
Operationalizing Trusting Relationships: Rules for Measurement


3. Fostering Trusting Relationships: Three Theories


Testing Explanations of Trusting Relationships


4. The Evolution of Trusting Relationships Among the American States, 1776–1789


Governance and Discretion Under the Articles of Confederation
Governance and Discretion Under the U.S. Constitution: Trusting Relationships Emerge
Explaining the Onset of Trusting Relationships


5. Trusting Relationships and European Community: Institutional Design from the Treaty of Paris to the Single European Act, 1950–1986


Governance and Discretion Under the Treaty of Paris
Governance and Discretion Under the Treaty of Rome
Explaining the Onset of Trusting Relationships


6. Trusting Relationships, Scarce Resources, and the Politics of Water in the Jordan River Valley


The Israeli-Jordanian and Israeli-Palestinian Water Agreements Compared
Explaining the Onset of the Israeli-Jordanian (Near) Trusting Relationship


7. Conclusion: Overcoming Suspicion in International Relations


The Concept of Trust
The Causes of Trusting Relationships



Challenges conventional assumptions about how international rivals form trusting relationships.


How is trust built in international politics? In this book, Aaron M. Hoffman argues that conventional arguments fail to account for two factors governments fear and wish to protect themselves from: domination by outside parties and political competition from internal parties. He argues that trusting relationships emerge in response to agreements that insulate governments from these worst-case scenarios by guaranteeing them voice in collective decisions and offering them concessions designed to mollify potential internal opposition. Using case studies that explore the formation of the United States, the development of the European Community, and negotiations over water resources in the Middle East, Hoffman shows that trusting relationships can only be built with the development of institutional mechanisms designed to reduce the consequences of betrayal.

Aaron M. Hoffman is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Purdue University.