Annual Conference 2022

ConTrust: Peace Politics and Trust in Conflict

Falling dominoes.

Photo: twenty20photos/Envato

Trust is a central but often under­estimated resource in inter­national relations. It requires great efforts to build trust among indivi­duals and insti­tutions, but it is difficult to control and easily broken. Trust is an im­portant pre­requisite for resolving conflicts and at the same time conflict is a process in which trust can be formed. The war in Ukraine is an example of how trust can be destroyed in a short time, in inter­national relations and in the inter­national order.

The 2022 PRIF Annual Con­ference "ConTrust: Trust in Conflict – Peace Politics under Con­ditions of Un­certainty" will debate and analyze the topic of trust and its relation with peace politics from a mul­titude of per­spectives. The con­ference will explore questions of what en­ables the building and soli­dification of trust between different actors and in institutions, and how trust and conflict relate to each other.

Based on the project "ConTrust", a joint research initiative between PRIF and Goethe University, it will be argued that even in con­stellations of conflict, certain con­ditions can enable trust to be built. The con­cept will be examined not only with a focus on different regional perspectives, but also with a view towards the role of (inter­national) orga­nizations and the im­portant part trust plays in arms control settings.


When: Wed­nesday, March 23, 2022. 11:00 am – 07:15 pm
Where: Online

To register for the live­stream, please send an e-mail to annualconference @hsfk .de.


Please find the prog­ram for PRIF's Annual Con­ference 2022 below. You may also download a PDF version.

11:00 | Arrival / Welcome

11:15 – 12:45 | Arms Control Between Trust and Verifi­cation

Chair: Christopher Daase

  • Trusting Science. The Dis­course on Technical Ex­pertise and the Chemical Weapons Convention (Una Jakob / Christopher Daase)
  • Trusting Experts. The Role of Groups of Govern­mental Experts (GGE) in Arms Control (Anna Ferl)
  • Trusting Artificial Intelligence. AI and New Ways of Verifi­cation of Arms Control (Niklas Schörnig)
  • Trusting Your Neighbor. Social Pre­conditions for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (Simone Wisotzki)
  • Discussant: Maria Rost Rublee

12:45 – 13:30 | Lunch Break

13:30 – 15:00 | Dealing with Crises: How Inter­national Institu­tions Enable or Disable Trust

Chair: Nicole Deitelhoff

  • Establishing Trust and Distrust When States Leave Inter­national Organi­zations (Ben Christian / Dirk Peters)
  • Trust, Mistrust and Distrust and its Effects on Cooperation between Civil Society and International Economic Organizations (Melanie Coni-Zimmer / Diane Schumann)
  • Enabling Trust - IHFFC Activities Other Than Formal Inquiries (Thilo Marauhn)
  • Discussant: Bernhard Zangl

15:00 – 15:15 | Coffee Break

15:15 – 16:45 | Temporal Dynamics of Trust in Conflict

Chairs: Hanna Pfeifer and Irene Weipert-Fenner

  • Inter-Elite Trust Before and After Revo­lution in Tunisia (Jasmin Lorch)
  • Social Trust in Syria Before and After Civil War (Abdalhadi Alijla)
  • Political and Social Trust in the MENA Over Time (Niels Spierings)
  • Temporality and Dynamics of Trust in Conflict: Illustra­tions From the MENA (Irene Weipert-Fenner / Hanna Pfeifer)
  • Discussant: Jonas Wolff

16:45 – 17:00 | Coffee Break

17:00 – 18:30 | Trust in Institutions, Coronavirus Deniers, and the Far Right

Chairs: Julian Junk and Daniel Mullis

  • Alter­native News and the Info­demic - Erroding Trust and Fueling Anger during the COVID-19 Crisis (Lena Frischlich)
  • Belief in COVID-19 Related Conspiracy Myths and Support for Contain­ment-Measures (Jonas Rees / Andreas Zick)
  • Covid19 and the Far Right: A Case Study From Saxony, Germany (Daniel Mullis / Paul Zschocke)
  • Discussant: Charlotte Heath-Kelly

18:30 – 19:00 | Closing Panel on the War in Ukraine

Discussion between Tanja Börzel and Nicole Deitelhoff, moderated by Stefan Kroll

19:15 | Reception