Annual Conference 2023 of the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC)
A global perspective on social cohesion
Annual Conference 2023 of the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) examines historical and regional variances of social cohesion
In recent years, “social cohesion” has become a central buzzword in political and academic
debates. At the same time, different actors use it to refer to very different things and mobilize
very different intellectual traditions. The Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC)
investigates this highly political and volatile phenomenon in more than 80 research and
transfer projects. After three years of research, the conference will provide answers to the
question of how social cohesion and its discursive production vary historically and regionally:
Why have so many different interpretations been gathered under this (emerging) basic social
concept? What current transformations of regional and national, transnational and
transregional scope are addressed by this concept, and how do actors within and between
societies come to an agreement on what their social cohesion should look like?
This year’s annual conference of the RISC will take place from
Thursday, 14 September to Saturday, 16 September 2023
at Hotel Felix Augustusplatz 1-3, 04109 Leipzig (Germany).
The conference will be framed by keynotes by Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Technical
University Berlin) and Matthias Middell (University of Leipzig) on Thursday and by Ursula
Lehmkuhl (University of Trier) and Olaf Groh-Samberg (University of Bremen) on Saturday.
These keynotes will discuss from a historical and internationally comparative perspective how
the concept of “social cohesion” has gained prominence in recent years and experienced a
remarkable ascent to become a basic social concept.
On Friday, the conference is dedicated to discussion in parallel panel sessions. The topics in
these panels range from the diffusion of the concept of social cohesion in political, social and
discursive networks to social cohesion in the Francophone space and the question of cohesion
in times of ecological transformation.
On Saturday, there will also be a panel discussion with three representatives of the RISC
Practice Council: Anna Hofmann (ZEIT Foundation), Matthias Schulze-Böing
(Commissioner for Special Tasks of the City of Offenbach am Main) and Gerhard Timm
(Managing Director of the Federal Association of Independent Welfare Organizations). This
discussion will revolve around the question of the extent to which the RISC lives up to its
claim of making research findings usable in practice and adopting inputs from society on the
subject of social cohesion.
The keynotes and several of the panel sessions will be held in English. The panel discussion
and the remaining panel sessions will be held in German. The keynotes and the panel
discussion will be streamed live on the RISC YouTube channel. Online participation in the
panels via Zoom is possible. Further information:
You can register for digital participation until September 10 at:
Coodinator Section Leipzig
Research Institute Social Cohesion
Telephone: +49 341 97-37882
Head of Public Relations
Research Institute Social Cohesion
Telephone: +49 341 97-37762
About the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC)
At the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (RISC), more than 200 scientists work on
questions of cohesion: identities and regional worlds of experience, inequalities and solidarity,
media and conflict culture, polarization and populism, but also antisemitism and hate crime.
The following institutions belong to the RISC: the Technical University of Berlin as well as
the universities of Bielefeld, Bremen, Frankfurt am Main, Halle-Wittenberg, Hanover,
Constance and Leipzig, the Sociological Research Institute Göttingen, the Leibniz Institute for
Media Research Hamburg, and the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society Jena.