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The age-old question of what holds our societies together re-emerges periodically, particularly in times of crisis. In a world ever more globalised and virtual, the answer is often cast in terms of "trust", with its pivotal role as regularly called upon as its health called into question. How has trust risen to this centrality, and is it all as straightforward as it seems?
Dr Uta Staiger
13 August 2014
Starts: Aug 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM
Juncker’s nomination was not a sudden, not an unexpected and not even a distinct event. Neither does it spell
an end to the European Council’s dominance in constitutional politics or
make EU reform less likely.
Dr Christine Reh
2 July 2014
Starts: Jul 1, 2014 12:00:00 AM
As a closer look at the European
Parliament Elections in Central and Eastern Europe suggests, it may be
non-voting, rather than populist protest voting, which could prove the
long-term threat to sustainability of the EU’s troubled democratic
Dr Sean Hanley
2 June 2014 More...
Starts: Jun 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM
Generating Social Trust in the 21st Century
Publication date: Mar 4, 2014 12:21:04 PM
May 19, 2014 12:00:00 AM
End: May 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM
19-20 May 2014
Building social trust presents enormous challenges today for European political leaders. Focusing on three broad domains (health, welfare, and the economy), this two-day forum seeks to explore the potential effects of trust-building on new efforts to address social instability.
There can be no ‘big society’ in the absence of social trust. Social trust is about transparency of actions, continuity of values, and a belief in community. When promises go unfulfilled, a sense of betrayal seeps in to undermine social cohesion. Policymakers make changes without considering the basic mechanisms through which trust is engendered; and even those who measure social capital sometimes downplay continuity. New regimes wipe out existing programmes and policies, often without accounting for the distrust in social processes that such practices create. Likewise, in banking and health care, fragile relationships are easily undermined, even at times by well intended shifts in practice.
Social trust is central to successful, healthy, and equal societies, and diametrically opposed to betrayal; for distrust in the systems citizens rely on has a profound impact on their willingness to cooperate with one another and to define their individual futures in collective terms. While betrayal destabilises us emotionally, trust thrives on reliability, stability, and predictability. How is social trust and citizen trust generated? How can social trust be nourished in the 21st century?
Focusing on three broad domains (health, welfare, and the economy), this two-day forum seeks to explore the potential effects of trust-building on new efforts to address social instability.
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