Is there Trust in the Scandinavia of India? On Understanding Generalized Trust in Kerala

  •  Magnus Olof Karlsson    


Kerala is considered as the most social advanced state of India, and can in many respects be seen as “the Scandinavia of India”. But despite the fact that Kerala scores high on the Human Development Index as well as many other welfare indicators, there are arguments that generalized trust—when people trust most people even if they do not know them—is low. In this text, Kerala is sometimes compared to Sweden, one social-democratic well-developed welfare state in Scandinavia, and it is argued that the family constellations, the historical relations between the working-class movement, the employers and the government, as well as the extensive remittance economy characterising Kerala, have reduced trust through creating large inequalities and decreasing civil engagement.

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