Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Summer Conference 2011: 'Building Trust in Society'


Building Trust in Society - The Pillars of Democracy

With the Summer Conference of 2010, the Montesquieu Institute challenged different social institutions to elaborate on their role in building trust in society. The conference drew great interest from both organizations and the public, which shows the importance of this issue in contemporary society. This made the Montesquieu Institute decide to organize, together with different partners, a new conference on this theme: Building Trust in Society – The Pillars of Democracy.

Dutch politcians question the reliability of the Dutch court and the public distrust its politicians, not to mention our financial system! The traditional pillars on which our society is built seem no longer to be able to carry the weight of our ever more complex society. The new openness that is created by the rise of different new media, makes it hard for politicians and goverment to cover up any mistakes. MP’s keep asking for emergency debates, provoked by the constant demand for information, opinions and decisions. At the same time, other forces in society are developing: Social media have created a new kind of ‘Networking Citizens’ and behind the curtains, lobby organizations have become more and more important.

Which pillars define our democracy today? Will the new social forces increase trust in goverment, social organizations and the rule of law, or will they, on the opposite, undermine it? This years conference examines the pillars of our democracy.



In the coming weeks, the different events will be announced on the Dutch version of the website.


Practical Matters

Please note that all sessions will be held in Dutch.



If you have any question concerning the Montesquieu Institute Summer Conference, please send an e-mail to