Workshop: Social cohesion in context-perspectives from Africa

Social cohesion, the “glue that holds societies together” is important for the resilience and wellbeing of societies. This workshop aimed to enhance the conceptual and empirical understanding of social cohesion in Africa.

Gruppenphoto Africa Workshop


The “social cohesion” team at IDOS advanced the measurement of social cohesion across countries. While this enables a comparison between countries, it is relevant to contextualise and learn how different societies conceive social cohesion. Even more so as mainstream literature on social cohesion draws on European scholarship. The workshop “Social cohesion in context – perspectives from Africa” (15 to 16 November, 2022 in Bonn) brought together authors of studies on Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Rwanda, and South Africa and scholars studying social cohesion in Asia. It results that the concepts of social cohesion do not differ substantially between different world regions and African countries. The only element that features less prominent in concepts developed in African societies is “trust”, whereas belonging and cooperation for the common good is always present in one or the other form. Beyond the conceptual level, how social cohesion is institutionalised differs between societies.

Check out our video for further insights on the workshop and the Social Cohesion Hub for more general information.

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