What is the course about?
We seem to be facing a crisis of trust in Britain. Politicians are accused of putting misleading claims on the side of buses – and then failing to deliver what voters asked for in the Brexit referendum. The media also seem complicit and, moreover, quite happy in a post truth world. Even the NHS is accused of failing to deliver, at best, and covering up its failures, at worst. Should we link all of these? Are we facing a new phenomenon? This course explores what we mean by trust, why it matters, and how it’s evolved in Britain and Europe. A key question that every citizen should be asking is: do we need more trust, or better trust?
What will we cover?
• What is trust? What are the key elements? Are there different types?
• Why does trust matter? How can we build trust? Can we have too much?
• A brief history of trust from antiquity to the present day.
• Does trust vary across cultures, communities, and generations?
• Why is trust so important to politics? Do we need more trust, or better trust?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Define trust, describe its key elements, and distinguish different types
• Identify where trust features in the news
• Evaluate the role of trust, distrust, and mistrust in your everyday life
• Consider how different approaches to trust can explain (a lack of) co-operation
• Assess three important models of trust in the academic literature
• Trace the European history of trust from antiquity to the present day
• Discuss the role of trust in British notions of citizenship and governance.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each class is broken down into bite sized explorations of key topics, introduced by the tutor and followed by class discussion; in addition, the tutor introduces the class and sums up at the end to make sure you fully understand the important points. You will be provided with an introductory reading list, but this is designed to enhance your study and, while we encourage you to read up each week, you can follow, enjoy, and contribute to the discussion without doing so.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook to class if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Check out our range of Politics courses on our website or in our prospectus.