Paper/Speech Details of Conference Program for the 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference Program Overview Main Theme Author(s) Alexander Obolonsky Higher School of Economics Moscow Russian Federation Title Re-establishment of Peoples Trust in the Public Sector as a Basic Pre-condition for Sustainable Development File Paper files are available only for conference participants, please login first. Presenter Alexander Obolonsky Abstract Following the recommendations of the 1-st reviewer, I will be able: a) to include in the final text some empirical data of Russian polls displaying negative dynamics of public trust to different institutions of government; b) because the time limit for oral presentation, to cut the general theoretical part of it. The main purpose of the paper is to consider such acute problems of political and administrative theory and practice as current decline of public trust to executive institutions and persons in power and the efforts of social science in several countries to find a new pattern of relationships between state and civil society. The problem of pubic trust decline to national governments became one of key problems both for practice and for academic discussions in the last decades: searches for new paradigm of executive branch of government is an essential part of this process. It covers both institutional and psychological sides of problematic. The general trend of state prestige’s decline, civic «desacralization» of state, even in countries with long-term statist and paternalistic tradition, became empirical fact. There are many empirical data confirming this decline. It could be interpreted as a new reincarnation of the liberal concept. At the same time private and voluntary sectors have become more and more involved in public goods providing. So, in psychological sense we see the serious crisis of public trust towards state authorities. It is connected, in particular, with contemporary psychological large group identity crisis. More about at in: email@example.com I suggest that it is the sign of a certain crisis of the bureaucratic state as a whole, at least in its traditional forms, especially, of executive branch of power. The substantial reforms of public governance system can be only adequate reply to this challenge. The important part of it should be reforms aiming to improve partnership and cooperation between state, private and voluntary sectors to increase effective participation of citizens in formulating and delivering government strategies and public policies. States most responsive to public needs and aspirations, responded to this challenge by sustainable reforms in the field of public service. However, by political reasons, they have been realized only partially and now we face the partial disappointment in results. The concept of Good Governance seems as a certain step back from extreme NPM and effort to find more balanced, intermediate pattern of order. Results are still unclear. I’ll mention the efforts in Russia to cope with this danger, less successful to be met public expectations, unfortunately. For the conclusion I'd like to turn briefly to the question: whether NPM and/or Good Governance models suit for post-Communist East European countries, or not. Some answers are negative. Concepts of “path dependence” assume autocracy as insuperable trait attributive to some societies supposedly just not adjusted for democracy ”genetically”. I disagree with such fatalistic view. Tradition is very important but not a fatal factor. Struggle against bad traditions in own society, striving for overcoming them is an essential source for positive development. Certainly, it is not an easy job for societies like Russia, for example. However, to presume existence of any “civilization prohibition” for positive changes, especially under conditions of the 21-st century, sounds as a version of national inferiority complex. Moreover, it seems that to transform obviously wrong, traditional model of officialdom in favor of more modern patterns is the only reliable way for all post-Soviet type countries to avoid a final transformation to full-fledge bureaucratic state, “bureaucratic reign” with all inevitable consequences. The approach of economists Acemogly and Robinson focusing on processes of substitution extractive social institutions by inclusive ones, seems very promising in this context.