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10: Historical aspects of trust and confidence in societies

Seminar / Seminar
in englischer Sprache

The „cultural turn“ in historiography is now a quarter of a century old, and it has generated valuable insights. But hitherto, under the influence mainly of Foucault, it has usually focussed on power relationships. There is no inherent reason why this should be so. Social bonds are not entirely constituted by power and dependence: they are supplemented by ties of attachment, reliance, affection, interdependence and even just habit, which are not wholly independent of power structures, but are not wholly generated or engulfed by them either. Perhaps we need a new approach, centring on such ties, for which the most appropriate generic term would probably be „trust“. Niklas Luhmann, a German sociologist expert, and a sophisticated researcher in sociological systems theory unearthed „trust“ as early as in the late 1970s. Since the 1990s trust has become a parameter of international sociological research, still lacking, however, the historical dimension which will be included as important empirical evidence in this seminar. Both the financial crisis of 1870 and the crash of 1929 provide striking material for deeper reflection concerning trust and democracy as such. As it happens, too, we are now in the middle of a global financial predicament which many commentators call a „crisis of trust“. This is, then, a particulary appropriate time for historians to consider whether „trust“ might not be a useful concept for understanding social structures and social processes as well as economic and political decision-making.

Professor emeritus of Russian History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
Professor, Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna

Mag. DDr. Oliver RATHKOLB

Professor, Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna

Research Director, Bruno Kreisky Archives, Vienna Research Co-ordinator, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Vienna Co-director, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society, Vienna Schumpeter-Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University Visiting Professor, Department of History, University of Chicago Director, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of European History and Public Spheres, Vienna


Timetable einblenden
kategorie: Alle Plenary Seminar
Genre : Alle Panel Seminar


15:00 - 15:30 Eröffnung des Europäischen Forums Alpbach 2009 Plenary
15:30 - 17:00 Eröffnungsreferate Plenary
17:00 - 18:30 Vorstellung der Seminarinhalte Plenary


Seminar 09: The future of the internet Seminar
Seminar 05: Vertrauen im Recht Seminar
Seminar 08: The United Nations: International trust and global governance Seminar
Seminar 07: Trust in America: Understanding the cultures and society of the United States Seminar
Seminar 04: Confidence-building in the context of security and ethnic conflicts Seminar
Seminar 11: Trust in science Seminar
Seminar 03: Global contracts, economic crisis and rebuilding trust Seminar
Seminar 01: Vertrauensbildung in der Kommunikation – Kontrolle ist gut, Vertrauen ist besser! Seminar
Seminar 13: Trust and confidence in medicine Seminar
Seminar 14: Kunstmarkt und Vertrauen Seminar
Seminar 10: Historical aspects of trust and confidence in societies Seminar
Seminar 06: Political trust and the role of religion Seminar
Seminar 12: Building trust: Development cooperation Seminar
Seminar 02: The biological foundations of trust and social decision-making Seminar


15:30 - 17:30 Plenarveranstaltung „1989-2009: Von der Revolution zur Normalität. Herausforderungen der Stadtpolitik in Mitteleuropa“ Plenary


15:30 - 17:30 Plenarveranstaltung: „Integrated risk policies for global systems at risk“ Plenary


17:00 - 19:00 Plenarveranstaltung „Öffentliche Medien im digitalen Zeitalter – Wem vertrauen?“ Plenary


15:30 - 17:00 Plenarveranstaltung „Ethik und Wissenschaft“ Plenary