A synthetic review of the trust-participation nexus: Towards a relational concept of trust in energy system transformations to net zero

Otto, Danny, Chilvers, Jason ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9238-1653 and Trdlicova, Karolina (2023) A synthetic review of the trust-participation nexus: Towards a relational concept of trust in energy system transformations to net zero. Energy Research & Social Science, 101. ISSN 2214-6296

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Trust is crucial to achieving sustainability transformations and net zero. Much research has focused on building trust in policies, technologies and behavioural changes related to sustainability. It has been argued that building trust is strongly linked to processes of communication, deliberation and participation. In this article, we reconsider this relationship through analysing how studies of two decarbonisation technologies - carbon capture and storage (CCS) and wind energy - conceptualise trust and approach the relation between trust and participation. In a systematic review of 97 journal articles, we investigate how trust has been defined and conceptualised and how the relationship between participation processes and trust building has been established. Our findings show that trust has mainly been approached through a narrow theoretical lens, primarily as a key factor for gaining acceptance for specific technology projects. In this dominant instrumental framing participation serves as a means to gain trust or overcome distrust. How trust emerges, transforms or erodes, therefore, remains unclear beyond rationalistic assumptions on the role of actors, information provision or participation processes. Drawing on our literature analysis, we propose a new theoretical framework for trust and its relation to participation. This ‘networks of trust’ approach linked with an ecologies of participation perspective is based on sociological theory and relational perspectives in science and technology studies, enabling a broader understanding of the trust-participation nexus that goes beyond narrow acceptance-based approaches.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was partly funded by the research project: “TrustZero. Trust in Technologies for a Zero Carbon Future” funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (UKDE\100008). JC also acknowledges support from UK Energy Research Centre Phase 4 funding (EPSRC grant reference EP/S029575/1).
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon capture and storage,decarbonisation,participation,relational,sustainability transformations,trust,wind energy,renewable energy, sustainability and the environment,nuclear energy and engineering,fuel technology,energy engineering and power technology,social sciences (miscellaneous) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2100/2105
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Science, Society and Sustainability
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2023 09:32
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2023 03:17
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92881
DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2023.103140


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