Call for Papers – Trust and Mistrust: Ethics in Participatory Research, Design, Democracy and Action

Call for Papers

Trust and Mistrust: Ethics in Participatory Research, Design, Democracy and Action


A *FREE* The Trust Map, Participatory Research Hub and EMoTICON event.


Friday 17th February, Lindisfarne Centre, St. Aiden’s, University of Durham, 12-5pm (lunch 12.00-1.00)


Aim: To centre the significance of ‘trust’ and ‘mistrust’ in participatory practices, public engagement and other forms of coproduction in and beyond the University.



  • To share diverse experiences of trust and mistrust in participatory research, design, democracy and action.
  • To inform public policy and understanding through broader outputs of The Trust Map and PAR hub.
  • To develop conceptual understandings of trust and mistrust in  relation to governance through the output of a Special



This event engages with and contributes to a long tradition of participatory and collaborative research in the UK. Recently, practices of coproduction between Universities and other organisations have been encouraged by targeted funding agenda. Simultaneously we see a growth in participatory approaches to public and corporate decision-making, service delivery, and community activism on a range of different levels. In part this shift is bound with an expansion of digital technologies that enable new forms of engagement; a localism act that (it is argued) helps individuals and communities feel empowered to shape their proximate environments; and enlivened social political interest. There are opportunities here for new (and already well practiced) ways of thinking and doing together. However, these practices in all their diversity carry a specific range of risks that require closer critical engagement. In some cases participatory approaches to research, design, democracy and action may be empowering and effective. In some cases what looks like collaboration may mask other flows of power. In light of this we consider the significance of trust and mistrust to an ethics of participatory research, design, democracy and action. The mediation of trust is a complex process and through this session we seek to explore the flows and legacies of trust and mistrust in practices of coproduction. The development and loss of trust may involve personal and intimate processes and/or may operate more broadly at an institutional/ structural level. We invite speakers and participants from within and outside of academia to share experiences with and reflections on the formations and mediations of trust and mistrust in participatory, collaborative and/or co-produced research projects.


If you are interested in attending this event please register through Eventbrite:


To speak please send a brief abstract or expression of interest to and before the 16th January. There is budget to support travel expenses for selected post-graduate researchers, early careers researchers and members of community groups. Please state your request and reasons for requiring funding alongside the abstract. Please note that lunch and bursaries for early careers researchers have been provided by EMoTICON.




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