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Perils and promises: Social cohesion amidst the global polycrisis

Key facts

06.11.2023 - 08.11.2023
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tulpenfeld 5, 53113, Bonn, Germany
German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)



Date: 7-8 November 2023, including pre-workshop event on the evening of 6 November

Organizer: German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS)


You can download the conference report including photos here and view the presentations from the individual sessions here. In case you missed it, you can watch the full recording of the pre-conference roundtable. We have also created a brief post-conference video with some of our speakers that you can watch below.


Social cohesion shapes a society's resilience to shocks and crises. Those societies in which individuals are bound together in unity and solidarity are better able to stand together through distress and difficult times. Yet, the currently prevailing global polycrisis is characterized by the convergence of multiple shocks. These span from climate change through disruptions in global value chains to political polarization, and even international conflict. Such crisis cascades create complex interactions that have the potential to jeopardize social and political systems. Meanwhile, social cohesion itself also seems at perils from multiple crises in many societies worldwide. This is particularly alarming as social cohesion is often praised to be the key to navigate these challenges. Against this backdrop, participants of the workshop together strive to better understand the role of social cohesion in times of cascading crises.

The conference will address the following main questions: 

  • How can the cohesiveness of societies be strengthened?
  • When and why does social cohesion erode?  
  • How can social cohesion help in building up crisis resilience?  
  • How can development cooperation contribute to social cohesion in times of polycrisis? 

The conference serves as a platform for professionals, scholars, experts, policy makers, and thought leaders from diverse backgrounds to convene, discuss, and pool evidence on whether and how social cohesion enables societies to respond to crises and shocks, and how social cohesion itself can be preserved during times of polycrisis.

This conference is a part of IDOS’s research project “Social cohesion in Africa", which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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Contact Information

For further information please contact Dr Daniel Nowack and Dr Tekalign Gutu Sakketa on social_cohesion@idos-research.de