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Trusting the enemy: Understanding intergroup trust in conflict and peace studies through social psychological approaches

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Humanities, Sciences
Host campus
National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Dr Mariska Kappmeier


Trust is the glue that holds relationships together – hard to build, easy to destroy. While intuitively, conflict groups and researchers alike have an implicit understanding of trust, when trying to describe what trust is, it becomes clear that it is an elusive and complex concept.

This project focuses on furthering our understanding of the multidimensional nature of trust. It aims for researchers and practitioners alike to better understand how conflict persists through distrust, how peace building can be empowered through trust, and how fragile intergroup relations can be strengthened through systematic trust building. Candidates interested in the broad theme of intergroup trust are encouraged to submit a research proposal that relates to one of the following research areas:

  • Intergroup Trust
  • Social Identity
  • Police – Community Relation
  • Interfaith Relations
  • Collective Memories
  • Social-psychological Dimensions in Peace and Conflict Studies


Dr Mariska Kappmeier