Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 10th, 2018

Public Mistrust as the Main Cause of Loss of Government legitimacy

Many Afghans don’t believe the government is fair. This is not sentiment but reality; to most Afghans, the government doesn’t exist for them, but for the privileged few. This psychological revolt against policies stems from a culture of mistrust built over decades. 
In the Literatures on trust, factors usually used to measure trust or distrust in government is perception of corruption. Indeed, several studies have documented that corruption is the main determinant of citizen’s distrust in governments. Afghanistan is not atypical of corruption plaguing its government. Without overemphasizing the debate about corruption, there are other yardsticks with which to measure determinant of trust in government, such as economic performance, misappropriation of public funds, political participation. In several studies on Trust, some analyst speaks of organizational trust, while others speak of interpersonal trust. However, the interest of this article is in political trust, a form of organizational trust, which is trust in government-governmental institutions and politicians. 
Understanding political trust in Afghanistan is central to understanding perception of current democratic dispensation. Not only understanding perception of current democratic dispensation, it also matter to understand political trust because lack of trust can lead to erosion of public confidence, loss of legitimacy of governments. Consequently, distrust or lack of trust, can pose serious challenge to working of governments. Trust enhances confidence in institutions and consequently, attracts cooperation of citizens to the agreed policies and programs of the governments.
How to Improve Public Trust to the Government
Reform Measures for More Participatory Government is one of the key strategies in this regard.The agenda for participatory administration can be enforcement of cooperative governance with the civil society and active support for public service. The key measures may include strengthening the direct democratic values in which residents participate directly in government affairs ; Building a foundation where the public can conveniently and efficiently participate in government affairs using E-government such as the online public engagement system; Allowing active and substantial civil engagement in the administrative process through the vitalization of policy communities; Stimulating the openness of government and the engagement of civilians through the expansion of the entry of civilians in public office, and expand the employment of minorities in public office; protecting the minority groups against the targeted attacks of the terrorist groups.
In addition to this, Government shall put the systematic effort for anti-corruption and promotion of a higher sense of ethics among public officials as the major priority. Specific actions include improving the systems and regulations that induce irregularity, devising anti-corruption measures for each sector, imposing checks and balances among inspection institutions, focusing on the substance of action plans, improving public ethics, and eliminating the authoritative administrative culture. The key measures that shall be taken include; Increasing administrative openness by expanding the disclosure of administrative information and enhancing access to it, and by making the Name Recognition System for Made Policies and the recording of major issues mandatory; achieve public ethics through improving regulations and the integrity of public officials; Preventing abuse of authority in local governments by establishing self-regulating constraint mechanisms such as securing the suitable environment for local legislation activities, strengthening the responsibility of local governments, and increasing the transparency and soundness of local financial management; And raising the level of public trust and preventing the possibility of non-transparent activities by establishing electronic systems for government duties.