The concept of trust means different things to different people; nonetheless, trust plays an essential role in the functioning of social groups. Trust relationships contribute to the stability of democratic societies and to the orderly conduct of social and economic affairs. When trust is lacking, protection against exploitation and opportunism are necessary. Fairly complex systems of protection that are designed include monitoring and sanctioning. Empirical data shows however that efficacy of such systems is doubtful. Can a legal instrument ever reproduce the social order that comes from trusting social or economic relations? What about trust in legal instruments and justice themselves?
We aim to bring together international scholars from different disciplines (law, psychology, and economics) to create an exchange, focused on the use of the concept of trust. Exploration of the topic of trust requires social scientists and lawyers to engage in interdisciplinary research and to be prepared to assess the influence of empirical data.