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Workshop on Trust and Europe’s Crisis of Representation

Thursday and Friday 7th-8th December


Venue: Woolf Institute Building, Madingley Road, CB3 0UB


Talk on Trust and Europe’s Crisis of Representation

7-8 December 2017, Woolf Institute, Cambridge (UK)

Convenors: Jan-Jonathan Bock (Woolf Institute), Caroline Humphrey (King’s College, Cambridge), and Jonathan White (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Keynote speakers

  • Richard Sennett (London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • David Runciman (University of Cambridge)
  • Paul Weller (Coventry University)


Across Europe, the economic, political, and social realities established in the aftermath of the Second World War have come under strain. Anti-migration rhetoric and the rejection of multiculturalism, as well as the success of far-right parties and movements, have shocked observers. Globalisation, open markets, diversity, and growing interconnectedness have also given way to publically articulated demands for protection and national isolation. In most debates and analyses, the 'decline of trust' is cited as a key reason for recent challenges and changes in public perception.

This conference explores the talk on trust and what it reveals about social challenges and understandings of democracy, free market capitalism, and living with ethnic, religious, and cultural difference. We examine why 'trust' features so prominently in debates about social change, discontent, and new political orders. We aim to understand the role of trust talk in attempts to explain our current condition and its implications for living with difference and uncertainty in increasingly interconnected and globalising societies.

This conference is the part of the Trust Project, which explored the meaning and practice of solidarity in emergent forms of social action. To read the Trust in Crisis Report: please see here.


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