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As Scotland heads to the polls, this piece discusses the extent to which emotions have arrived at the heart of contemporary politics – yet we still hesitate to admit it. Emotions can neither be banished nor ignored when we discuss what constitutes political communities, how political decisions should be made and political action springs into being. Yet to embrace the rise of emotional politics without acknowledging how intimately it is and should be entangled with reason equally risks undermining just political action.
Dr Uta Staiger
18 September 2014
Starts: Sep 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM
As the Scottish independence referendum draws closer the outcome is hard to predict. Both Westminster politicians and the wider public are asking what – in practical terms – would happen if the Scots were to vote Yes. Robert Hazell offers a 10-point overview of what the road to independence might look like.
Professor Robert Hazell
9 September 2014
Starts: Sep 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM
The Nordic countries have received exceptionally good press in the UK - at least until earlier this year, when British travel writer and resident of Denmark, Michael Booth, claimed to dispel the of Scandinavia as the perfect place to live. Many are now confused. Is
everything we believed about the social ideals of Sweden, Denmark,
Norway and Finland a lie? Well, not entirely but we’re not all drunk
serial killers either.
Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
19 August 2014 More...
Starts: Sep 8, 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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