Generating Social Trust in the 21st Century
12:00 am, 19 May 2014 to 12:00 am, 20 May 2014
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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