CFP: Conference: Mistrust, mobilities, insecurities

Event Date: July 31, 2016

Conference: Mistrust, mobilities, insecurities

16-17 November 2016, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany

This international conference will be organised as part of the EU-FP7 CASCADE project by the working group dedicated to issues of migration, mobilities and poverty in the Caucasus.

The central notion to be explored during the conference is mistrust. In contrast to the notion of trust, which has become popular as a social phenomenon in the social sciences of late, the notion of mistrust is mostly overlooked. If at all, mistrust is investigated as the flip side of trust, as an annoying absence and a societal failure. In this vein, post-Soviet citizens such as those from the Caucasus are depicted as notoriously deficient: alienated from the state due to the Soviet past they are still haunted by, incapable of creating a genuine civil society, unwilling to follow the rule of law, relying on personal networks and relations rather than the state apparatus, predisposed to corruption. The most pressing question thus seems to be how to restore trust in the state, and how to foster trust in civil agents and free markets.

With this conference, we intend to take a step back and explore what people actually do when they mistrust. Particular attention will be paid to how mistrust relates to poverty, insecurity and (voluntary as well as involuntary) forms of mobility as widespread experiences in the post-Soviet Caucasus and beyond. We also ask for the constructive potential of practices of mistrust. Can we identify communities of mistrust? May mistrust be culturally coded? If so, what is particular about these codes? Does the sharing of mistrust create new forms of legitimacy? [more]

Deadline for submission of proposals: 31 July 2016