Civil servants’ trust in citizens is an important but insufficiently addressed issue in public administration. It is the key component of democratic governance and cooperation shaping. This study examines patterns of young civil servants’ trust in citizens, and explores the factors accounting for the variance of young civil servants’ trust within the Chinese context. Our primary finding is that the attitude held among China’s young civil servants is neither too strong in trust in citizens nor in distrust of them. By employing ordinal logistic regression analysis, this study demonstrates that four factors significantly affect young civil servants’ trust in citizens: their social trust level, their perception of citizens’ ability to participate (knowledge-based trust), their spirit of self-sacrifice, and their authority-respecting political orientation. We propose that the cultivation of an attitude of trust in citizens by young civil servants is crucial for lubricating the process of China’s administrative reforms.
Keywords: Young civil servants’ trust; trustworthiness; public service motivation; authority-respecting political orientation
SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL