Work Package 2: Trust in Digital Public Services

Trust is not a dichotomy. It is affective and produced in practice. It is context-specific and produced in discourse.

In the context of the Nordic welfare state trust is highly important, and most citizens in general have high trust in authorities, but this is not necessarily the case with migrants. In the context of AI-assisted digital public services, the challenge is not just whether migrants trust authorities but also whether they trust (automated) technology.

Perceptions of trust are entangled with perceived risk. Trust can only occur if potential negative consequences are perceived as low. Perceptions of risk are connected to context and peopleʼs cultural and social background. Both objective and subjective risk evaluations are tied to values: people want to protect what they consider valuable, whether itʼs their family, health, freedom, honor, security or personal data.

…the challenge is not just whether migrants trust authorities but also whether they trust (automated) technology.

To understand cultural variation in values, work package 2 mobilizes theories of trust and risk in philosophy and anthropology (e.g. Boholm, 2003; Douglas & Wildavsky, 1982), highlighting the contextual nature of trust and risk, and their connection with values.

In this work package, we will 1) analyze how trust in digital public services is conceptualized in official documents and in the rhetoric of the city officials, 2) study how particular immigrant groups perceive trust in the context of digital public services and why. From the materials produced, we will analyze what is meant by trust, taking into account current studies and theories on the topic.

This work is intertwined with and builds on foundations created in the ongoing AoF project Digital Inequality and Smart Cities led by the WP leader Dr. Ylipulli.

Work Package Leader:

Johanna Ylipulli, johanna.ylipulli(a)


Anne Häkkinen

Avanti Chajed (on maternal leave, 8th of January 2024)