Conference Agenda

RN36_07: (Dis)Trust and cultural and political changes
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Zenonas Norkus, Vilnius University, Faculty of Philosophy
Location: GM.304
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road


The Drop in the Level of Trust in Society: the Trend of Globalization or Increased Cultural Degradation?

Natalia Orekhovskaya

Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Russian Federation

In the era of globalization and rapid modernization is the destruction of traditional axiological systems, breaks the value system of human coordinates, excluding from it the category of "trust".

The World Values Survey, which studies the dynamics of social values and their impact on social and political life, measures the level of social trust in society. Answering the question: "Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can't be too careful in dealing with people?" Respondents from different countries were not unanimous. Thus, in Russia 66 % of respondents believe that you should be careful in dealing with people, and in the Netherlands 66% of citizens believe that the majority of residents of their country can be trusted.

The study, conducted in January 2017 by sociologists from the Financial University under the leadership of O. Borovinsky, was aimed at studying the level of trust in Russian cities. The highest level of trust was recorded in Novosibirsk (63 %), Yekaterinburg (58%) and St. Petersburg (51%). The lowest confidence rate was recorded in Moscow (35 %).

To live better, according to respondents, Russians need: to get a better education (16 %), to adhere to high moral values (12 %), to develop trust and tolerance towards neighbors (10 %).

Trust is a product of moral values and norms that have developed and functioned in a particular society due to its cultural specificity, that is, it can be considered a culturally conditioned phenomenon.

You Can’t Be Too Careful - The Origins of Generalized (Dis)trust in Slovakia

Marianna Mrva

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak Republic

Generalized trust is considered to be a glue, which holds relationships together, makes social contacts more effective and acts like a building block of overall positive atmosphere in society. However, beyond the boundaries of a narrow circle of family and friends, trust in other people is a rare commodity, especially in Post-communist countries. These countries belong to the ones with the lowest degree of generalized trust in Europe, according to international surveys, such as the International Social Survey Program. Is it the lack of success in life, the underdevelopment of the civil society, the lack of weak ties, which is responsible for this, or a combination of factors? The goal of this presentation is to present an empirical analysis, based on the data from the ISSP: Social Networks survey, which examines the most significant theories on generalized trust and the extent to which they are able to explain its low degree in Slovakia. The findings suggest that none of the main theories can fully explain the lack of trust in these countries, but we have to look for a combination of different factors on individual level such as on societal level.

Willingness To Pay For Superpower

Vladimir V. Karacharovskiy

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation

The issue of investing in ‘superpower’ status is deeply rooted in the Russian – West socio-political discourse.

This paper develops an approach to measuring the shadow price of superpower as a specific type of public good. It is based on an experimental solution to the classical budgetary dilemma for Russia, in which the additional cost of maintaining superpower status is weighted against two alternatives – ‘economic’ (i.e. investment in public well-being) and ‘humanitarian’ (e.g. investment in health provisions). Two types of experimental situations are tested: 1) a short-term program with a ‘soft’ model of a superpower (a moderate program maintaining national sovereignty in international relations) and 2) a long-term program with a ‘hard’ model of a superpower (an enforced program of total military parity with the West).

The findings suggest that society has a bipolar world outlook with a large share of the public supporting an understanding of the state’s power either as ‘external’ (centered on gaining an international force) or ‘internal’ (centered on economic and humanitarian wellbeing of citizens). The upper limit of the acceptable alternative cost of additional strengthening of the superpower was estimated at 1 million rubles per capita (for economic programs), and 1000 saved lives (for humanitarian programs). For the economic alternative this translates into a cost of 3–10% of GDP (depending on the type of experimental situation). For the humanitarian alternative, approval can be granted by investing in medical centers with an efficiency of about 1000 saved lives per year.

The research is based on data of the representative survey in Russia in 2016 and 2017.

This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under Grant number 16-18-10270.

Civic, Artistic, Activist, Militant and Military Reactions to Neo-liberal Transformations

Raphaela von Weichs, Monika Salzbrunn, Federica Moretti

University of Lausanne, Switzerland

As a general effect of neo-liberal economy and accompanying reforms, there is a growing concern over economic redistribution, access to resources, the disregard of human rights and the legitimacy of political power. Multi-party voting systems are increasingly questioned and challenged as a mode of political representation (Rancière 2017). Though exported from the North to the South and from the West to the East, they often lack credibility and support, not least because they are corrupted by the regimes in power. As a corollary, citizens boycott elections, get on strikes, squat public places, organize alternative innovative political events and even face civil war.

Within our ERC funded project “ARTIVISM. Art and Activism. Creativity and Performance as Political Means of Expression in Super-Diverse Cities” ( we have come across several collapses that express the dark side of neo-liberal transformations of local and global society: the collapse of the Morandi bridge in Genova (Italy), the collapse of the residential buildings in rue d’Aubagne, Marseille (France) and the collapse of city life in Buea and Douala, (Cameroon). As a résumé of these divers collapses, we propose to discuss them in regard to the civic, artistic, activist, militant and military reactions they triggered, and to ask in which way these reactions respond to the frustrations and transformations (gentrification, material and symbolic invisibilisation and expulsion of non-desired people) in the name of dignity and right to the city (Pisanello 2017) in question.