This paper challenges widespread assumptions in trust research according to which trust and conflict are opposing terms or where trust is generally seen as a value. Rather, it argues that trust is only valuable if properly justified, and it places such justifications in contexts of social and political conflict. For these purposes, the paper suggests a distinction between a general concept and various conceptions of trust, and it defines the concept as a four-place one. With regard to the justification of trust, a distinction between internal and full justification is introduced, and the justification of trust is linked to relations of justification between trusters and trusted. Finally, trust in conflict(s) emerges were such relations exist among the parties of a conflict, often by way of institutional mediation.
concept and conceptions of trust, conflict, justification, normative orders, trust, uncertainty
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Rainer Forst, “The Justification of Trust in Conflict. Conceptual and Normative Groundwork”, ConTrust Working Paper, No. 2, Frankfurt am Main: ConTrust – Trust in Conflict, 2022. contrust.uni-frankfurt.de/wp-2.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst (1964) is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe University and Co-Speaker of the Normative Orders Research Center, Speaker of the DFG Center for Advanced Studies “Justitia Amplificata” and of the Leibniz Research Group “Transnational Justice”. Main research interests: theories of justice, democracy and toleration, critical theory and moral reasoning. Publications include: Contexts of Justice (1994; University of California Press 2002), Toleration in Conflict (2003; Cambridge University Press 2013), The Right to Justification (2007; Columbia University Press 2012), Justification and Critique (2011; Polity 2013), Normativity and Power (2015; Oxford University Press 2017) and Die noumenale Republik (2021); all published by Suhrkamp Verlag and translated into many languages. In 2012, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and of the British Academy.