14 to 16 September 2023 in Leipzig, Germany

Theoretical and practical approaches to “social cohesion” are highly diverse across the globe. However, academic debates and tools for operationalization oftentimes remain dominated by universalistic and western-centric understandings of the term. Debates on institutional and policy developments around social cohesion, for example in South Africa and in Rwanda, as well as forms of measurement and alternative terminologies in the Global South have so far not received sufficient recognition. This panel brings together scholars and practitioners working on social cohesion and reconciliation from different perspectives and academic disciplines, focusing particularly on the African and the Asian continent. Panelists will discuss to what extent local and global discourses can become more closely interlinked, if (and if so, then how) countries within and across regions can learn from each other, and how to debunk some of the universalist assumptions around notions of social cohesion in order to further the current global debate.

Input: Julian Kuttig (Ghent University), Christi van der Westhuizen (Nelson Mandela University), Yabibal Walle (German Institute of Development and Sustainability), Man Zhang (RISC Leipzig) Comments: Mohamed Haggag (ReCentGlobe Leipzig), Julia Leininger (German Institute of Development and Sustainability)

Moderation: Constanze Blum (RISC Leipzig)

Read the full conference program