Trust and Confidence in the Moscow-Washington Hotline
This event is part of the Department of Social and Political Sciences’ research seminar series and hosted by Dr Eszter Simon (NTU) & Dr Agnes Simon (Comenius University, Slovakia).
- From: Wednesday 22 March 2023, 1 pm
- To: Wednesday 22 March 2023, 2 pm
- Cost: Free
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The Moscow-Washington hotline has been a crisis communication device that has linked US presidents and Soviet (now Russian) leaders.
Simon and Simon (2020) have argued that the hotline is a trust-based device. In this paper, we argue that the hotline can only fulfil its trust function in crisis communication if actors believe that they can trust the device itself. After elaborating on our theoretical angle about the difference between trust and confidence, we discuss (1) what efforts were made to make the hotline a trustworthy institution, (2) what lapses in its reliability happened over the years and (3) what additional efforts were made to improve it. We define trustworthiness in terms of the hotline’s (a) technical reliability, i.e., ability to transmit between leaders, including the security of encryption and the transferring of messages quickly to decision-makers, (b) speed and accuracy of the translation of message texts, (c) exclusive use by Soviet and American leaders, (d) message ownership, including drafting, by Soviet and American leaders, and the (e) maintenance of secrecy of hotline messages.
This event is part of the Department of Social and Political Sciences’ research seminar series (2022-2023). The research seminar will take place online and can be accessed using the following link