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Interpersonal trust is the sine qua non of all social, economic, and political life.

Interpersonal trust is necessary for the functioning of all social life. This baseline requirement for human interaction becomes deeply complicated in the shadow of betrayals that occur against the backdrop of war and other forms of violent oppression. Furthermore, the vast majority of grassroots, state, non-profit, and international development interventions attempting to move the needle in these settings work to produce complex social processes that build on trust without directly addressing the often palpable mistrust that marks the relational landscape in these settings. In this project, we focus on deepening our understanding of the possibilities and limits of interpersonal trust among conflict-affected individuals.

Examples of Relationships Examined:
1. Everyday life among former members of guerrilla groups and former victims of those groups in Colombia.
2. Clan, family, and community life for al Shabaab defectors integrating into new communities in Somalia.
3. Relationships between familiars in which one informed on the other during the years of Stasi oppression (1950-1990) in East Germany.

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