Trust as a social emotion

Muirhead Tower, Room 417
Wednesday 5 July 2017 (16:00-17:30)

Speaker: Professor Nicolas Demertzis (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens).
Chair: Dr Tereza Capelos.


Though much debated and used, the concept trust is still endowed with ambiguity and conflicting theoretical interpretations. This presentation scrutinizes the differences and similarities between the rational choice and the sociological-cultural account of trust, and suggests that, at the final analysis, “trust” is better to be understood as a social emotion which facilitates societal cooperation, rather than as a cognitive and calculative category. In addition, a couple of methodological issues will be discussed concerning the measurement of trust in sociological analyses.

Nicolas Demertzis is a Professor at the Department of Communication and Media Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Director of the National Centre for Social Research. From 2004 until 2010 he was member of the steering committee of the Cyprus University of Technology (Lemesos), Founder and Head of the Department of Communication and Internet Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies. From May 2010 until May 2013 he was President of the States Scholarship Foundation, Greece.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (1980) and a Ph.D. in Political Sociology from Lund University, Sweden (1986). His major works are: “Cultural Theory and Political Culture. New Directions and Proposals” (Lund, 1985), “Culture, Modernity, Political Culture”, (Athens, 1989), co-authored with Thanos Lipowatz, “Essay on Ideology. A Dialogue between Social Theory and Psychoanalysis”, (Athens, 1994), “Local Publicity and the Press in Greece”, (Athens, 1996), “The Nationalist Discourse. Ambivalent Semantic Field and Contemporary Tendencies”, (Athens, 1996), “Emotions in Politics: The Affect Dimension in Political Tension” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). His current research interests focus on the realms of political sociology, political communication, and the sociology of emotions.

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