Julia Leininger, Armin von Schiller, Charlotte Fiedler | 2024

Strengthening social cohesion to mitigate human insecurity: Promise and peril

In: Human Development Report 2023/24, Breaking the gridlock: reimagining cooperation in a polarized world, New York: UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), 163-166

With growing human insecurity and polarization, policymakers have shifted attention to the resilience of societies. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for example, emphasizes solidarity as an essential building block for  addressing universal challenges. “Social cohesion” stands out as a buzzword in these discussions and is often suggested as a cure for many development problems and for the unintended consequences of development efforts. As many  governments and international organizations launch or scale up campaigns to promote social cohesion in societies – among groups or between citizens and public institutions – it is time to ask what we know about the relevance of social cohesion for supporting human development and reducing human insecurity. Also, what are the leverage points for policy action, and what is the effectiveness of currently applied measures?

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