PERiTiA – Policy, Expertise, and Trust in Action
Project time period:
2020 – 2023
The international consortium comprises 11 institutions:
- University College Dublin (Ireland), project leader
- All European Academies, ALLEA (Netherlands/Germany)
- University of Oslo (Norway)
- Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole normale supérieure (ENS) and the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) (France)
- Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Italy)
- American University of Armenia’s Acopian Center for the Environment (Armenia)
- Sense about Science (UK)
- King’s College London (UK)
- Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland)
- Utrecht University (Netherlands)
- Strane Innovation (France)
This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme.
The project brings together over 20 philosophers, social and natural scientists, policy experts, ethicists, psychologists, media specialists, and civil-society organizations to study trust in and the trustworthiness of policy-related expert opinion. Using climate change as a test case, PERiTiA will carry out multidisciplinary and integrative research to understand the factors that contribute to the enhancement or breakdown of trust in experts involved in social and political decision-making. Since trust in experts and expert advisory bodies is a fundamental condition of good governance, the project will contribute to improving the measures of trust for sustainable and legitimate governance.
PERiTiA’s investigation will be carried out in three phases: theoretical, empirical and ameliorative.
- The first phase carries out a foundational – theoretical and normative – investigation into the concept and conditions of trust and trustworthiness. The key goal here is to enhance the knowledge base on the topic of public trust in social and political contexts by providing an analysis of trust in experts from social, philosophical, psychological and ethical perspectives.
- The second phase of the project will adopt an empirical approach. It will analyze existing data on the changing levels of trust in experts and generating a longitudinal overview of the subject matter through surveys on trust in experts in seven countries, including Armenia. There will also be lab-based behavioral studies that will investigate the determinants of judgments of trust and trustworthiness by the general public.
- The third phase is the action/intervention phase of the project, known as the ameliorative phase, will involve public engagements addressing issues related to trust in experts. The core action planned will be encounters among representative groups from the general public and experts, policymakers and journalists specializing in the area of climate change. These “citizen forums,” which will also be organized in Armenia, will test and give critical insights into how deliberative democracy can be strengthened. The project will engage youth through essay competitions on trust and governance. The final outcome of this phase is the construction and testing of a trustworthiness toolkit for policymakers.