Alexander Bielicki (USA/Norway 2020) has been a lecturer at the University of Oslo since 2013, and has been especially engaged with the university’s International Summer School. He is Program Director of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs’ (USA) exchange program at the University of Oslo, which focuses on national identity and belonging in the context of the Scandinavian welfare states. He holds a PhD in Cultural History and the History of Religions from the University of Oslo and an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University. His previous research has focused on the construction of religious and national identities in Central Europe, especially Slovakia. Currently, he is mainly interested in issues concerning immigration, integration and nationalism.
“Societal Trust and the Salience of Nation-thinking: Nationalism’s relationship to inequality and diversity”
Societal diversity and social inequality can break down the trust that is sought in a stable democracy and this connection may be particularly robust in the case of European states. A lack of social trust may disrupt the possibilities for solidarity and the theoretical equality among the people of a given society. In light of these relationships, in what ways are trust and nationalism linked? This study examines trust and distrust in connection with perceived levels of social inequality and societal diversity and how these relate to the prevalence of nationalism (nation-thinking) in two sets of European countries (Norway – Sweden and Slovakia – Czechia). The section of the research plan to be undertaken in Kőszeg focuses on survey campaigns in Slovakia and Czechia, while the full research plan involves a similar survey campaign in Norway and Sweden. In addition to the online surveys, further qualitative research will be conducted on the perceptions of inequality and diversity in the relevant countries.