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TrustGov INAUGURAL International Workshop, TOULOUSE

  • Date:                                        9.00am-9.00pm, Monday 13 April 2020

  • Location:                                  Toulouse, France (before the ECPR Joint Sessions 14-17 April)

  • Co-chairs:                                 Pippa Norris, Will Jennings and Gerry Stoker

  • Coordinator:                             Jennifer Gaskell, University of Southampton

  • Contact:                         

  • Paper proposal deadline:          5 November 2019

  • Acceptance notification:          8 January 2020

  • Registration deadline:              1 March 2020

  • Paper submission deadline:      31 March 2020

  • ECPR Joint Sessions: 14-17 April 2020

  • Workshop website:        

Conference theme:

Trust has been widely regarded as valuable, including for societal relationships and cooperation, for political legitimacy, and for international peace. Contemporary concern about a growing tide of mistrust has been triggered by the rise of authoritarian-populist forces in the early-21st Century. In this context, it is timely for a major reassessment of the role and causes of the social, political and international dimensions of trust.

What drives trust? Traditionally, standard theories in psychology have treated trust as an affective personality characteristic, like introversion and agreeableness. Cultural accounts in sociology have regarded trust as a stable adult orientation acquired during the formative years of childhood through early socialization processes, evolving generationally. Communication theories see media messages as influencing trust, exemplified by the so-called classic ‘mean world’ effect and contemporary concern over fake news.  Finally, rational choice theories suggest that sceptical trust reflects informed judgements about trustworthy agents driven by evidence and logical reasoning. The workshop welcomes new research papers addressing the causes of social, political and international trust – and the consequences.


The one-day workshop will be held from 9am to 9pm on 13 April 2020, before the ECPR Joint Sessions in Toulouse, from 14-17th April 2020. It has been organized by directors of the TrustGov research project, funded by the UK ESRC and based at the University of Southampton and Harvard University.

  • 08.30-09.00 Registration and buffet breakfast

  • 09.00-09.15   Introductions and welcome

  • 09.15-10.45   Panel 1

  • 10.45-11.00   Coffee and tea break

  • 11.00-12.30   Panel 2

  • 11.00-12.30   Panel 3

  • 12.30-02.00   Buffet lunch with keynote speaker and breakout roundtable discussions

  • 02.00-03.30   Panel 4

  • 02.00-03.30   Panel 5

  • 03.30-04.00   Coffee and tea break - Foyer

  • 04.00-06.00   Panel 6

  • 06.00-07.00   Drinks Reception

  • 07.15-09.00    Workshop dinner (invitation only) 


The workshop will provide a buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and an evening drinks reception for all registered participants and also (by invitation) dinner in a local restaurant for paper-givers, chairs and discussants.

Workshop paper-givers, chairs, and discussants can also apply for financial awards to subsidize the costs of travel and one night’s hotel accommodation. Participants should make their own travel and hotel arrangements. If given an award, participants should complete an expenses form with attached invoices to be paid after the event.

Paper proposals should be submitted online by 5th November 2019 via the workshop website@

Other queries should be sent to: