Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought


Editors: Laszlo Kontler and Mark Somos
The notions of happiness and trust as cements of the social fabric and political legitimacy have a long history in Western political thought. However, despite the great contemporary relevance of both subjects, and burgeoning literatures in the social sciences around them, historians and historians of thought have, with some exceptions, unduly neglected them. In Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought, editors László Kontler and Mark Somos bring together twenty scholars from different generations and academic traditions to redress this lacuna by contextualising historically the discussion of these two notions from ancient Greece to Soviet Russia. Confronting this legacy and deep reservoir of thought will serve as a tool of optimising the terms of current debates.

Contributors are: Erica Benner, Hans W. Blom, Niall Bond, Alberto Clerici, Cesare Cuttica, John Dunn, Ralf-Peter Fuchs, Gábor Gángó, Steven Johnstone, László Kontler, Sara Lagi, Adriana Luna-Fabritius, Adrian O’Connor, Eva Odzuck, Kálmán Pócza, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Peter Schröder, Petra Schulte, Mark Somos, Alexey Tikhomirov, Bee Yun, and Hannes Ziegler.

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László Kontler, Ph.D. (1996) is Professor of History at Central European University (Budapest). He has published widely on intellectual history, political and historical thought, translation and reception, including Translations, Histories, Enlightenments: William Robertson in Germany, 1765-1795 (Palgrave, 2014)

Mark Somos (Ph.D. Harvard, 2007; Ph.D. Lugd. Bat., 2014) is Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg), Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Sussex Law School, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Grotiana.
"This pioneering series of papers illuminates the hitherto little explored relationship between trust and happiness through an examination of both theory and practice over many centuries of history. Since both trust and happiness are important and topical subjects, this book will be valuable to social scientists and more generally to readers concerned about where our societies are going nowadays."
Geoffrey Hosking, University College London


1 Introduction: Trust, Happiness, and the History of European Political Thought
László Kontler and Mark Somos

Part 1: Trust and Happiness in Theoretical Perspective

2 Toleration, Trust and the Travails of Living Together Globally
John Dunn
3 Ptolemy of Lucca’s Distrust in Politics and the Medieval Discourse on Government
Bee Yun
4 Natural Suspicion and Reasonable Trust: Machiavelli on Trust in Politics
Erica Benner
5 Hugo Grotius on Trust, Its Causes and Effects
Hans Blom
6 Fidem Observandam Esse – Trust and Fear in Hobbes and Locke
Peter Schröder
7 The Concept of Trust in Hobbes’s Political Philosophy
Eva Odzuck
8 The Formation of Leibniz’s Mature Ethics and His Specimen Polonorum
Gábor Gángó
9 The Secularization of Happiness in Early Eighteenth-century Italian Political Thought: Revisiting the Foundations of Civil Society
Adriana Luna-Fabritius
10 Trust and Happiness in Nikolai Karamzin’s Political Philosophy
Vladimir Ryzhkov
11 Trust and Happiness in Ferdinand Tönnies’ Community and Society
Niall Bond
12 Distrust in Government: A Comparative Historical Analysis
Kálmán Pócza

Part 2: Trust as a Function of Political Negotiation

13 Trust, Heresy and Rebellion: Reactions to Machiavelli in the Early Dutch Revolt (1572–1587)
Alberto Clerici
14 Privy Council Deliberations on Trust: The Holy Roman Empire around 1600
Hannes Ziegler
15 Trust as a Concept of Religious Plurality during the Thirty Years’ War
Ralf-Peter Fuchs
16 ‘No trust, no happiness’! Going beyond Locke in Seventeenth-century England
Cesare Cuttica
17 Adolf Fischhof and the National Question in the Habsburg Empire: A Problem of ‘trust’ and ‘collaboration’ amongst the Nationalities of Austria (1869–1885)
Sara Lagi

Part 3: Trust and the Culture of Political Behaviour

18 Pistis and Citizens in Ancient Greece
Steve Johnstone
19 The Concept of Trust in the Political Thought of Fifteenth-century Burgundy
Petra Schulte
20 “Through the Bonds of Sentiment”: Fraternité and Politics in Revolutionary France
Adrian O’Connor
21 Trust and Distrust in a Modern Dictatorship: A Case Study of the Soviet Union
Alexey Tikhomirov

Scholars, upper-undergraduate and post-graduate students of (intellectual) history, political science and political philosophy with an interest in political legitimacy, social cohesion, and related topics.