Social cohesion

Social cohesion is once again firmly on the political agenda – and for good reason. An intact community is society's glue. It is what holds it together, and makes it robust, dignified and future-proof.

Menschenmenge; © 5xinc/Thinkstock

5xinc/Thinkstock

But what exactly is it that creates cohesion at home and within Europe? Is it really threatened by globalisation, digitalisation and migration? Or does socio-economic inequality lead to tension, conflicts or even radicalisation? And how can liberal democracies oppose this and regain trust?

All these questions show how crucial it is to conduct scientific research into the conditions, changes and effects of social cohesion. For example, evidence-based social science can identify social building blocks that determine cohesion and determine whether, how and why cohesion has actually changed. To do this, it formulates precise theories that can be tested using empirical methods.

In order to promote research into social cohesion, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has issued several funding guidelines. As you will see from the following pages, the focus is on these issues:

Social radicalisation

Peace and conflict research

Migration and integration

Participation and the common good

Socio-economic inequality

Cohesion in Europe

In addition, the BMBF will support the establishment of a decentralised and multidisciplinary Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt" (Research Institute for Social Cohesion) in the coming years. Researchers from eleven universities and research institutions will examine current developments relevant to the cohesion of society and their historical roots.