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Social cohesion

Social cohesion is generally agreed to be valuable in and of itself – as the manifestation of an intact, solidarity-based society. It is a desirable quality that makes a society livable and sustainable.

In fact, modern Western societies are confronted with a number of challenges that threaten social cohesion – not only the economic and financial crisis, but also longer-term trends, including globalization, growing inequality, immigration and increasing cultural, religious and ethnic diversity.

It is therefore all the more important to understand the changes that are taking place, as well as their causes and effects, so that appropriate policy decisions can be made to reinforce cohesion.

Despite the importance of this topic, evidence-based insights are sorely lacking, since there is as yet no established field of research that specializes in international comparisons of social cohesion. We therefore lack empirical answers to important questions like these: Is cohesion actually disappearing? How is Germany doing, relative to other countries?

The Bertelsmann Stiftung launched the Social Cohesion Radar in order to promote public debate, but also to encourage research in this area.

This page contains study findings, publications and news reports related to the topic of social cohesion.