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Enlightened trust: An examination of trust and distrust in governance – conditions, effects and remedies
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 870572 Call for proposal: H2020-SC6-GOVERNANCE-2019
Funded under: H2020 | RIA Overall Budget: 2,978,150 EURFunder Contribution: 2,978,150 EUR

In EnTrust, we will provide novel insights into trust in governance and measures to support sustainable and democratic societies in Europe. Our project has five overarching objectives: a) Develop a multidisciplinary theoretical framework to understand the dynamic relationship between trust and distrust, in order to promote new forms of enlightened trust in democratic governance; b) Provide a comprehensive empirical dataset based on mixed methods and geared to measure how trust and distrust are constructed at individual, meso, and macro levels in relation to governance actors across local, national and European levels; c) Systematically compare and map trust and distrust across European countries to understand context-specific forms of trust and distrust, their conditions and consequences; d) Develop role models and best practices enabling to promote enlightened trust; and e) Engage in active exploitation, dissemination and communication activities to reach the highest possible impact of our findings. EnTrust consists of an interdisciplinary and well-integrated consortium of seven research teams from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Serbia with expertise in sociology, psychology, political science, media and communication studies, as well as a civil society practitioner active at the EU level. Our work plan will generate novel theoretical and empirical insights on the basis of interlocked methods, including in-depth interviews and focus groups with citizens and governance actors, analyses of online and social media content, as well as a representative population survey and various experiments. Moreover, it will make use of innovative instruments to secure a high level of dissemination, exploitation and communication. Our goal is to provide tangible and viable recommendations for policymakers, civil society actors and the scientific community to improve trust relations.

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