This article was written by Magdalena Dembinska. Magdalena is a professor and the University of Montreal. She teaches in the Department of Political Sciences, in Montreal, Quebec Canada. She is a lecturer of political science.
In this paper, the author argues that trust an important tool that is required to enhance peace in any society. The author argues that most societies in the world today are multicultural societies where many cultural groups interact. Giving evidence of efforts in building Eastern countries after the world wars, the author shows that struggle of bringing a state together through symbolism. The major stumbling block in trust building is the stereotypes that are build from past relations. Trust will only take place when people understand each other and stereotypes are neutralized. However, this cannot take place through imposition of the state. From the evidence of controversies surrounding collective memories and memorial sin Eastern European countries that have been plunged by war and misgivings, the author argues that the integration process mainly occurs from below. This happens when groups build horizontal trust usually when there is common management of their shared past and landscapes. This will also require the participation of the state in the process and not the state imposing trust on the people.