Alexandra Zeitz (Global Economic Governance Programme, University of Oxford)
Presentation: Nicholas Morris, Balliol College
Blogpost: Alexandra Zeitz, St. Antony’s College
What is the relationship between trust and law? And is it possible that some systems of law are better able to encourage trust than others? In a PEFM seminar in October, Nicholas Morris presented a research project investigating the role of Chinese legal traditions in cultivating trust, examining whether tenets of Chinese law can be adopted globally in order to rebuild trust in the economy, particularly in the financial sector.
Morris’ comparative work on Chinese legal traditions and trustworthy behavior is part of a larger research project, led by Morris together with David Vines, on rebuilding trust in the financial sector in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Vines and Morris have presented their work at PEFM in the past (see discussions of their presentations in these two previous posts) and the circle of experts and academics linked to PEFM continue to engage with this promising interdisciplinary research endeavor.
In order to function equitably and effectively, financial markets require strong trust among participants. This was Morris’ starting point. Merely relying on individuals’ desire for approbation and maintaining their reputation is insufficient to ensure robust trust. Instead, he argued, moral and normative structures are necessary to set out accepted and approved patterns of behavior.