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Morten Frederiksen

This chapter investigates and clarifies the relationship between trust in institutions, trust in people and the interaction between these forms of trust from a phenomenological perspective. The analysis takes its point of departure in Luhmann’s analysis of risk and danger as residing in different experiences of temporality. Building on the phenomenology of Løgstrup, the chapter argues that the experience of confidence belongs in the temporality of continuity – of stable contexts and dangers not associated with agency. Trust, it is argued, is in fact not a reaction to risk but, rather, a different phenomenological mode. Trust resides in a temporality of process and an unguarded attitude, whereas risk resides in a temporality of events, calculation and potential regret. Institutions interact with trust in providing familiar ways of proceeding in situations, determining when risk or trust seems appropriate. The notions of trust compartments and risk compartments are introduced to describe the way people phenomenologically map social topographies of trust/process and risk/event from institutional embedding.