Social Cohesion and Tipping Points: Perspectives, Approaches and the Way Forward

The Free University of Berlin together with the Peace Academy invite you to participate in this transdisciplinary symposium at Free University Berlin and online, 20-21 August 2020.

Fast and inadequately regulated social, political, ecological and technological transformation processes, such as climate change impacts, major environmental destruction, land concentration and growing right-wing populism, are increasingly affecting societies across the globe. Such change processes, associated with growing inequalities within the social fabric, enhance the risk for social fragmentation. Thus, understanding how social cohesion can be protected and strengthened is an important objective for interdisciplinary research.

We aim at discussing social cohesion combining perspectives from various scientific disciplines and practical experiences. We would like to learn from the different approaches how the concept of "social cohesion" can be used to address specific research questions. Finally, we are interested in debating the idea of social cohesion as a “crucial system feature” of societies that could suffer an (irreversible) change if it is “tipped”. Tipping points can be understood as “a steady change in some control parameter ultimately leads to a qualitative change in the system state when some threshold is passed” (Lenton, 2013:6).

More specifically, we would like to discuss the following research questions:
•   What are different perspectives on social cohesion?
•   What are the key risks regarding social cohesion?
•   How can social cohesion be strengthened in the future?

We invite researchers and practitioners from various fields, working on social cohesion, conflict, natural resources, criminal networks and tipping points. Participants should be open-minded and willing to engage in inter- and transdisciplinary exchange based on agile methodologies.
Please, send a short statement of interest (max. 400 words) sharing your thoughts on the concept of social cohesion until the 15th of June to regine.schoenenberg[at] & schilling[at]

Here you find the complete invitation.

Wann 20.08.2020 00:00 bis
21.08.2020 00:00
Wo Freie Universität Berlin & Online
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