National image and trustworthiness – The role of cultural values in the creation of trust between European nations
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- Kleiner, TM. Place Brand Public Dipl (2012) 8: 223. doi:10.1057/pb.2012.15
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European integration has led to an increase in international contact and the need for cooperation among European countries. Willingness to cooperate with other nations is dependent on mutual perceptions and evaluations, which find their expression in national images. One important dimension of these evaluations is trust. This article explores why nations trust one another. The article analyses whether a nation's cultural values influence its assumed trustworthiness when economic performance is controlled. It is hypothesized that nations that have achieved favourable international goals, for example embracing certain cultural values, earn appreciation and admiration. Thus, cultural success lends a special aura that makes these nations seem trustworthy. The social dimensions recorded in treaties provide a record of the specific cultural ideals embraced in Europe. Using data from the European Election Study, the European Values Survey and Eurostat, macro-level empirical analyses are conducted to test the hypothesis. Results indicate that the admiration mechanism has a clear effect on international trust. Thus, the author concludes that the cultural features of nations are important for their image and ascribed trustworthiness.