Call for Papers: Political and Social Trust – Citizens and Context

Conference to be held in Tampere, Finland, on May 10-11, 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

The Consortium of Trust Research (CONTRE) at University of Tampere and Åbo Akademi University, Finland, has the pleasure of inviting paper proposals to an international conference.

The conference brings together scholars who study the causes and consequences of social and political trust at different levels of society. It consists of keynote addresses by Professor Jonas Linde (University of Bergen) and Professor Eric M. Uslaner (University of Maryland) as well as four thematic panels.

The conference is organized as a part of the activities of the Academy of Finland funded project the Consortium of Trust Research – Pathways to Political Trust (CONTRE), in operation since September 2015. The key objective of the project is to understand to what extent short-term factors explain fluctuations in political trust and whether long-term cumulative forces explain gradual change.

 

HOW TO PROPOSE A PAPER

– Participants should apply by proposing a paper related to the general theme of the conference. Participants can indicate their panel preferences in their submission.

– Applications should include an abstract of no more than 250 words describing the proposed paper.

– The deadline for paper proposals is February 22, 2017.

– Propose your paper here: https://www.lyyti.in/politicalandsocialtrust_callforpapers

 

CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION

– Panel chairs will select the papers to be presented at the conference. Those who have proposed papers will be informed about the selection by the end of February 2017.

– The deadline for registration is March 31, 2017. Link to the registration form will be sent to participants via email.

– The deadline for full papers is May 1, 2017.

– There will be no conference fee. The local organizers will cover accommodation costs for two nights as well as lunches and dinners during their stay.

 

PANEL ABSTRACTS

Panel I The relevance of Social Capital

Chair: Maria Bäck, University of Tampere

The last two decades have seen an upsurge in research on the relevance of social capital in society. Social capital has been claimed to have both a private and a public dimension and it can thus be treated as either an individual-level or an aggregate-level trait. This is the also case when studying the link between social capital and political trust. There has been a large debate on the questions of whether political trust is a cause or consequence of social trust. The relevance of social capital has also been a recent topic of interest in research concerning immigration, multiculturalism and questions of community cohesion. The panel invites papers that scrutinize various aspects of social capital and the causal mechanisms through which it works in society. Papers that propose social capital as a public policy tool, e.g. to achieve social cohesion, are also welcome.

Panel II Contextual factors

Chair: Peter Söderlund, Åbo Akademi University

This panel focuses on the questions of if, how and why the context matters for citizens’ levels of political trust. Contextual factors capture variations in the wider cultural, social, economic, political and institutional context. A variety of contextual factors have been shown to explain cross-national differences in political trust, such as the longevity of democratic rule, cultural homogeneity, aggregate social trust, socioeconomic development, economic performance, political corruption, and power-sharing institutions. We welcome papers that address the mechanisms by which contextual factors, measured at an aggregate level, affect individual attitudes. For example, some environments can be conducive for trust to develop and remain stable over time, while others can be characterized by low trust and short-time fluctuations. As data accumulate over time, more comprehensive cross-sectional or longitudinal analyses are possible to test or refine contextual theories of political trust. Furthermore, contextual effects can be contingent in the sense that particular subsets of citizens develop higher (or lower) trust under certain circumstances. An interesting avenue for research is how and why trust levels vary across various social groups depending on context.

Panel III Political actors

Chair: Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen, University of Tampere

The panel focuses on the relationship between citizens’ political trust and decisions taken by the political elite. It invites both theoretical and empirical papers dealing especially with one of three themes: 1) Economy: How is political trust linked to the economic management of incumbents and consumer confidence? 2) Issue representation: Does opinion congruence between representatives and citizens affect the level of political trust? 3) Anti-incumbency and anti-establishment voting: To what extent is distrust in political actors channeled through the anti-political-establishment vote in Europe, compared to alternate expressions of dissatisfaction, i.e. anti-incumbency voting and abstention?

Panel IV Citizens

Chair: Kim Strandberg, Åbo Akademi University

Variations in short-term trust are often argued to take place due to the occurrence of political scandals or crises of various kinds. Repeated short-term trends in political trust are additionally argued to accumulate and eventually become long-term trends. It is thus crucial to gain more knowledge on the micro-level mechanisms leading to either a decrease or increase in citizens’ short-term political trust. This panel explores the mechanisms shaping citizens’ political trust in the short-term. The panel especially welcomes contributions on how experimental methods can be used to assess such fluctuations in political trust and their causes. Both theoretical and empirical pieces concerning citizens’ political trust are welcome.

 

CONTACT

Aino Tiihonen

Email: aino.tiihonen(a)uta.fi

Tel: +358 50 318 7649

Address: School of Management (JKK)

FI-33014 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE

 

Josefina Sipinen

Email: josefina.sipinen(a)uta.fi

Tel: +358 50 318 7681

Address: School of Management (JKK)

FI-33014 UNIVERSITY OF TAMPERE

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