ConTrust Speaker Series 2024

Eine Standardannahme der Forschung ist, dass Vertrauen und Konflikt im Gegensatz zueinanderstehen und sich gegenseitig ausschließen. In der ConTrust Speaker Series wird diese Annahme in Frage gestellt und nach der Dynamik von Vertrauen und Konflikt in verschiedenen Kontexten des sozialen Lebens gefragt. Kann Vertrauen in Konflikten entstehen, sich in ihnen manifestieren und stabilisiert werden, statt abseits von ihnen? Was sind die Bedingungen dafür?

Mit renommierten Expert*innen aus dem In- und Ausland untersucht die ConTrust Speaker Series die Auseinandersetzungen um Wertvorstellungen, Umgang mit Krisen und Ungewissheiten, sowie Möglichkeiten der Konfliktgestaltung im Zusammenspiel von Vertrauen und Streit.


Montag, 17. Mai 2024, 18.15 Uhr

Trusting as a skillful act: a critical reconstruction of the sociological theory of trust

Gil Eyal (Colombia University)

„Trust“ has become one of the keywords of our time. Politicians and the media bemoan the decline of trust in science and experts, as well as in public institutions more generally. Global consultancies like McKinsey and Deloitte sell trust measurement and trust building as part of their portfolio. The scholarly field of trust research has exploded in size since 2000. The assumption seems to be that we know what trust is and how to study and measure it. In this talk, building on Pierre Bourdieu’s analysis of the logic of practice, I will argue that this assumption is wrong. There is no trust, only trusting as practical, skilled action, highly dependent on context and attuned to temporal variables. „Trust itself“ is a figment of the scholastic imagination and a currency used in its transactions with political and economic institutions. I will develop the argument through a critical reconstruction of the sociological theory of trust, starting with the „commonsense fallacy“ bedeviling trust surveys, and then examining the „scholastic fallacy“ that undermines the otherwise sophisticated theories of Luhmann, Giddens and Mollering. I will then illustrate the reconstructed theory drawing on examples from interviews with Long Covid patients.

Gebäude „Normative Ordnungen, Max Horkheimer Str. 2, 60323 Frankfurt und online via Zoom. Um Anmeldung an wird gebeten

Vergangene Termine:

Montag, 13. Mai 2024, 18.15 Uhr

Trusting the Blockchain, Trusting the Novel

Adam Kelly (Associate Professor of English at University College Dublin)

In the famous 2008 paper announcing the invention of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto justified the new currency on the basis of a need for Internet commerce to eliminate the problem of trust. “What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust,” Nakamoto wrote, “allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.” The key innovation behind Bitcoin was the blockchain, a distributed ledger technology that ensured that the record of all transactions using the currency would be ineradicable and shared. Ever since the inauguration of this technology, its implications for the problem of trust – in but also well beyond the arena of online commerce – have been heavily debated. Some titles of recent books indicate how close the connection between blockchain and trust has become: The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust (2018); Building Decentralized Trust: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Design of Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers (2021); Searching for Trust: Blockchain Technology in an Age of Disinformation (2022).

This paper examines the implications of blockchain for, and through, a much older technology that retains an intimate link with the trust architecture of human life in modern societies: the literary novel. Responding to the virtual absence of literary studies from the otherwise rich interdisciplinary debates on trust over the past few decades, the paper summarizes work in the discipline on the novel’s historical importance for embedding social trust in liberalism, a modern political and economic regime that, according to Niklas Luhmann, “attempts to shift expectations from confidence to trust.” Connecting this shift in expectations to the debates around blockchain, the final part of the paper will conduct a reading of Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House (2022). Egan’s novel offers a thought experiment about how the blockchain could impact human life, and how the novel’s own architectures of trust might respond to that impact.

Gebäude „Normative Ordnungen, Max Horkheimer Str. 2, 60323 Frankfurt und online via Zoom. Um Anmeldung an wird gebeten

Montag, 15. Januar 2024, 18.15 Uhr

Civil Disobedience and its Limits

Tatjana Hörnle (Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung von Kriminalität, Sicherheit und Recht, Freiburg i. Br.)

Gebäude „Normative Ordnungen, Max Horkheimer Str. 2, 60323 Frankfurt und online via Zoom. Um Anmeldung an wird gebeten

Montag, 29. Januar 2024, 18.15 Uhr

Can Trust Be Engineered? Biometric infrastructures and the African Financial Revolution

Keith Breckenridge (University of the Witwatersrand)

Gebäude „Normative Ordnungen, Max Horkheimer Str. 2, 60323 Frankfurt und online via Zoom. Um Anmeldung an wird gebeten