Trust and Risks in Changing Societies

Yamagishi, Toshio GND; Zinn, Jens GND

Japan and Germany, just as other European and Asian societies, are undergoing rapid social, economic and cultural changes. These include demographic changes, economic and political instability, the erosion of traditional institutions, changes in communication, as well as effects of natural disasters. These developments are related to changes in norms and values, and come with an increasing number of alternatives for individual and social decision-making. With the number of choices also increases the risk of making a wrong decision. To remain capable of taking any action at all, individuals need to trust in others, in expert knowledge and in abstract institutions. Therefore, trust – as the social lubricant that keeps societies running, and risks – as the challenges faced by a given society, are topics central to the analysis of any social system. The DIJ is honored to welcome two internationally renowned experts on trust and risk as speakers to this DIJ Forum, which is presented together with the German-Japanese Society for Social Sciences.

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