The Role of "Trust" in Socio-Environmental Conflicts

Josep Espluga*, Ana Prades, Nuria Gamero, Rosario Sola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)


Social research on risk has shown that its possible effects on human health or the environment are not the main cause underlying social opposition towards a technology. Moreover, three decades of risk research have led to a unanimous agreement that social conflicts are mainly due to the relationship between the population at risk and risk managers and regulators. Thus, trust is a crucial element in the social response to a technological risk. This paper reviews various theoretical approaches to the concept of "trust" in the context of technological risk management. Next, it includes an analysis of four case studies on technological risks perception. The main goal is to investigate in each of them the different dimensions of trust identified in the literature. Results highlight the need to consider the different risk singularities and social contexts when addressing trust building processes, and underline the significance of trust for a suitable management of technological risks.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)255-273
Number of pages19
JournalRevista Política y Sociedad (
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Cite this