Trust and law in the Information Society. Fostering and protecting trust in the market, in the institutions and in the technological infrastructure (TRUST 03)

  • Funding Body: MIUR (MIUR 40% - COFIN 2003)
  • Project Acronym: TRUST 03 
  • Project Full Title: "Trust and law in the Information Society. Fostering and protecting trust in the market, in the institutions and in the technological infrastructure"
  • Protocol No.: 2003124257
  • Official Site:
  • Years: 2003-2005


  • Alma Mater Studiorum
  • SDA Bocconi, Milano
  • Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
  • Università degli Studi di Parma
  • Università degli Studi Roma Tre
  • Università degli Studi di Siena


In present society, based on the division of work and functions, it is necessary to resort to the contribution of others, to the purpose of maintaining and improving the conditions of individual and society life. This presupposes that it is possible to have trust, or better a rational trust both in the people and in the organisation infrastructures which one is related to (in economic, political and social interactions), and in the technological infrastructure one uses. The project assumes that between trust and the law there is a dual relationship and besides that the law plays a fundamental role in the building and maintaining of trust, also in large and anonymous societies: the law generates reciprocal expectations, recognises the social reliances, ensures the functioning of information channels on which the rationality of reliances depends. The research will determine how said functions can be developed and increased, on the basis of a better comprehension of the processes which lead to the formation and preservation of trust, in the different social environments, in particular in the economy, in politics, and in the technological infrastructures, as well as the ways in which said processes interact with legal rules. The theme of the research will be the object of specific deep analyses with reference to the information society, where the issue of trust has a crucial relevance, both as regards the economic aspects (e-commerce) and the political ones (e-governance and e-democracy). In said area the traditional mechanisms for trust building do not work (direct knowledge, participation to the same social or cultural realities) and besides the interaction is mediated by the technological apparata. From this derives the need to state more precisely what institutional and technological conditions can contribute to the building of trust and how the law can contribute to the realisation of such conditions. The project will therefore be developed through a multi- and inter-disciplinary analysis which will be articulated in the following research areas.

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