Time and the growth of trust under conditions of extreme uncertainty : illustrations from peace and conflict studies

  • The article studies civil wars and trust dynamics from two perspectives. It looks, first, at rebel governance during ongoing armed conflict and, second, at mass mobilisation against the regime in post-conflict societies. Both contexts are marked by extraordinarily high degrees of uncertainty given continued, or collective memory of, violence and repression. But what happens to trust relations under conditions of extreme uncertainty? Intuitively, one would assume that trust is shaken or even substantially eroded in such moments, as political and social orders are questioned on a fundamental level and threaten to collapse. However, while it is true that some forms of trust are under assault in situations of civil war and mass protests, we find empirical evidence which suggests that these situations also give rise to the formation of other kinds of trust. We argue that, in order to detect and explain these trust dynamics in contexts of extreme uncertainty, there should be more systematic studies of: (a) synchronous dynamics between different actors and institutions which imply trust dynamics happening simultaneously, (b) diachronous dynamics and the sequencing of trust dynamics over several phases of violent conflict or episodes of contention, as well as long-term structural legacies of the past. In both dimensions, microlevel relations, as well as their embeddedness in larger structures, help explain how episodes of (non-)violent contention become a critical juncture for political and social trust.

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Author:Hanna PfeiferORCiDGND, Irene Weipert-FennerORCiDGND
Series (Serial Number):ConTrust Working Paper Series (No. 3)
Publisher:ConTrust - Trust in Conflict. Research Centre “Normative Orders” of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Document Type:Working Paper
Date of Publication (online):2022/12/08
Date of first Publication:2022/12/08
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/04/28
Tag:Middle East and North Africa; civil war; contentious politics; rebel governance; social movements
GND Keyword:Vertrauen
Page Number:17
Institutes:Gesellschaftswissenschaften / Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (HSFK)
Exzellenzcluster / Exzellenzcluster Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0