This free one day conference explores the overarching theme of trust-transparency paradoxes. The conference panels are organised on:-

1. The relationship between trust and transparency in a context of multi-level governance:

2. The links between trust and co-construction of public policies;

3. Trust as a factor of resilience in relations between associations and state and non-state actors, especially in the educational field.

The symposium, held at Sciences Po Lyon, France, on May 4, 2018, represents a milestone in the dissemination of the results of the WISERD Civil Society: Building Trust? Institutions and interactions of Multi-level Governance in the UK, Germany and France project. It also presents provisional findings from the Building Trust through Transparency project, led by Alistair Cole and Isabelle Garcin-Marrou (Sciences Po Lyon – ELICO) and funded by the Scientific Council of Sciences Po Lyon (2016-2018). In the spirit of internationalization, it marks the creation of a new partnership between the TRIANGLE Research Laboratory (UMR 5068) and WISERD.

Issues of trust in politics (and public policies) are at the heart of contemporary debates around governance and democracy. Although it has long been identified as a central element of social, political, economic and associative life, there is a genuine explosion of interest in the concept of trust, and more particularly political trust, driven by reflection on the post -democracy and engagement with the concepts of social capital and political participation (e.g. Putnam 1993, 2000, Fukuyama 1995, Seligman 1997, Braithwaite & Levi 1998, Warren 1999, Hardin 2006, Uslaner 2002, Keele 2007; Zmerli & Hooghe 2011, Crouch, 2004).

Trust remains one of the most controversial concepts in the social sciences. According to Levi (1998, 79 – cited in Newton 2007, 343), trust has a variety of forms and causalities and cannot be considered a homogeneous variable. In fact, trust issues are often those of lack of trust (Balme, Marie & Rosenberg, 2003, Boy & Chiche, 2010, Grossman & Sauger, 2017, Cheurfa, 2017, Cautrès, 2017, Torcal & Montero, 2006).

Rising populism, recurrent abstention, rejection of partisan structures, democratic deficit, deep distrust of political elites in general … the democratic crisis affecting France (like other comparable countries) is nothing new (Cole & Pasquier, 2017). Transparency is sometimes put forward as a solution to the underlying problems that produce such a state of mistrust in politics, but transparency itself is surrounded by ambiguity and normative presuppositions (Grimmelikhuijsen, 2012, Grimmelikhuijsen et al. 2013).

For more information please contact Professor Alistair Cole

If you would like to receive a registration form to book your attendance at this conference please contact Christophe Parnet

Please see below for a copy of the conference programme.