Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Summer Conference 2010: 'Building Trust in Society'

Summer Conference 2010

Between 23 August and 1 September, the Montesquieu Institute in cooperation with a variety of partners organised the Montesquieu Summer Conference 2010: 'Building Trust in Society'.

Throughout this conference, several organisations gave their vision on the topic of trust in society during lectures, expert-seminars and workshops.


Photo impressions of the conference



Trust plays a crucial role in a well-functioning democracy. When trust decreases, relationships may become problematic, it becomes more difficult to get things done and accordingly expenses increase. According to the Dutch Council for Public Administration, our democratic system may be in serious danger due to the decrease of trust in society. This conclusion as well as current (political) developments make 'Building Trust in Society' an important and urgent topic for discussion.

Are we rightly worried about the pretended decrease of trust in society or are we making it sound worse than it actually is? In case we are rightly worried, what can we do to increase trust and improve the mistrustful response that politcs and media often encounter? Is it possible at all to fabricate trust?

This year the Montesquieu Institute, in cooperation with a variety of organisations, shed their light on the role that the different civil society actors play regarding trust in society. Do these actors contribute - perhaps unintentionally - to the decrease in trust? And what can we do in order to reverse this trend?


Programme (preliminary)



23 August

Building Trust in Society, opening of the Montesquieu Summer Conference 2010*

24 August


25 August

Debating with nuance, workshop organised by Debatrix

26 August


27 August

The Hague: City of Representation, full day of activities for students of the Leiden University College, The Hague

28 August


29 August


30 August

Trust in Europe, event organised by the European Movement*

31 August

Trust and the role of Courts of Audit, lecture organised by the Dutch Court of Audit*

1 September

Impulsive Politics or Constituents?, workshop and plenary debate organised by the Forum For Democratic Development* (open plenary debate)

*Open meeting

Confirmed times and locations will be announced in advance.



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