Trust Matters

International Workshop

1 - 2 December 2022

Building “Normative Ordnungen”, Room 5.01
Max-Horkheimer-Str. 2
60323 Frankfurt/Main

Registration: Please write an email to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! by November 30th

We are never quite as aware of the importance of trust as when it breaks down. Though one emergency is different from the other and though little seems to unite disparate events such as climate change, the 2011 European debt crisis, the outbreak of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, exploring the complexities of trust, or the lack thereof, gives us some valuable insight on these events’ unfolding. It has been said time and again that trust binds together the social world we live in and that we display trust simply by daring to get up in the morning. Trust is found in all human interactions, from those of everyday life to international relations among heads of state. Trust is what human institutions live off, as numerous social norms crucially depend on our trusting others to follow them too. Yet, there seems to be a widespread crisis of trust that plagues our social and political world, making it difficult for citizens to trust their government, epistemically reputed authorities, neutral agencies such as the judiciary, international systems of cooperation and their very neighbours. Moreover, growing political and social conflicts – ranging from the increased polarization within Western democracies to the decline of the liberal international order – force us to wonder whether it is possible for trust to flourish under conditions of conflict.
The importance of trust combined with its apparent scarcity has made it a rightful topic of interest for scholars in political and social sciences, philosophy, epistemology, legal and political theory. Work in each of these disciplines uncovers a part of the trust puzzle, aiming to explain what it means to trust, when trusting has value and is justified and what political, social and economic effects we can get from healthy relationships of trust. Looking at trust from different angles is fruitful because it educates us on the multiple, sometimes divergent, dimensions characterising the plethora of human phenomena that generally go under the label of trust, from face-to-face relations to state interactions. It also shows how trust is defined and measured in different, at times conflicting ways. We should be aware of the different vocabularies with which trust is treated and we should welcome interdisciplinary discussions that shed more light on the various dimensions of trust.
This is what Raquel Barradas de Freitas, Sergio Lo Iacono and other contributors have realised with the recently published Trust Matters: Cross-Disciplinary Essays (Hart 2021). The volume brings together trust scholars of various fields, from legal and political theory to social and political science, as well as history and philosophy. Their interdisciplinary conversation started with a workshop organized at the European University Institute in 2018 and attended by many of the authors. Goethe University and ConTrust would provide an invaluable opportunity to continue that discussion and to enrich it with new perspectives and contributions. While ConTrust’s strong interdisciplinary character dovetails with the book’s diverse chapters, its nuanced approach to trust as a phenomenon with both positive and negative undertones, as well as its innovative focus on the intricacies of trust and conflict will be highly beneficial for fostering a fruitful exchange among trust experts. Thus, the workshop will efficiently disseminate the research results achieved with Trust Matters. It will also offer scholars the opportunity to present current work and benefit from feedback from other trust experts. Finally, the workshop will further expand the network of ConTrust, by establishing new contacts with other international scholars in the field.

Program (pdf): Click here…

Presented by:
Research Initiative “ConTrust: Trust in Conflict – Political Life under Conditions of Uncertainty”


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