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The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Consolidator Grants to UvA political scientist and ACES affiliate Tom van der Meer. These prestigious grants are awarded to individual researchers and amount to around 2 million euros per project. They are intended for researchers who obtained their PhDs 7 to 12 years ago. The grants enable the academics to consolidate their position as independent researchers. Together with Tom van Der Meer, The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Consolidator Grants to Simon van Gaal as well. Consolidator Grants were also awarded earlier in the year to UvA researchers Timothy Noël, Tommy Tse and Louis Vermeule.

Consolidator Grant recipient Professor Tom van der Meer

Representative democracy requires a healthy dose of political scepticism towards its institutions. Blind distrust can induce alienation, whereas blind trust could make one susceptible to manipulation. However, to the extent that trust/distrust suggest a person has made a considered judgment, they could be helping to stimulate critical citizenship, civic engagement and vigilance. Nevertheless, the ‘two types of trust’ are commonly conflated in public debate and scientific research. CRITICALTRUST proposes a novel model of political (dis)trust to addresses that fundamental problem conceptually, theoretically and methodologically. Primary and secondary analysis of cross-national survey and experimental data will allow longstanding causal claims to be tested.