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Understanding What Holds Societies Together

Berlin University Alliance funds six groundbreaking projects in the Social Cohesion funding line of its Grand Challenge Initiatives

News from Sep 28, 2020

Social cohesion is a global challenge. Understanding social transformations is a key to successful coexistence in a complex, heterogeneous world. After a two-stage selection process, the Berlin University Alliance identified six so-called “Exploration Projects.” Within these projects, research is being conducted in various disciplines and academic institutions to investigate the dynamics, perspectives, and limits of what holds our societies together. As of October 2020, they will be funded with a total volume of 7.1 million euros over the next three years.

The Selected Projects

  • „Museen als Räume der sozialen Kohäsion“ (“Museums as spaces of social cohesion”): The aim of the project is to re-examine the social role of museums as central places of knowledge transfer and community building in association with universities, with a view to social cohesion.
  • „Transforming Solidarities. Praktiken und Infrastrukturen in der Migrationsgesellschaft“ (“Transforming Solidarities. Practices and Infrastructures in Migration Society”): Using Berlin as the “laboratory” of migration society, the project examines what solidarity is in the areas of work, living, and health. In particular, the researchers investigate under what conditions solidarity arises, where, and in what form
  • „The Laws of Social Cohesion (LSC) – Zur Bedeutung des Rechts für die demokratische Gestaltung sozialen Zusammenhalts“ (“The Laws of Social Cohesion (LSC) – On the importance of law for the democratic design of social cohesion”): LSC examines exactly how the law actively shapes cohesion, promotes social cohesion, where its integrative limits lie, and to what extent it possibly even endangers social cohesion.
  • “Social Cohesion and Civil Society. Interaction Dynamics in Times of Disruption”: Social cohesion is an essential shaping factor of our society. It evolves again and again in exchange among people. The project investigates how these interactions are organized differently under the limitations of the current crisis and what this means for our social cohesion.
  • “Social cohesion, food and health. Inclusive food system transitions”: Issues of social cohesion are inextricably linked with our food systems and nutritional health, and they are closely interrelated. The project systematically examines this relationship for the first time.
  • “Beyond social cohesion – Global repertoires of living together (RePLITO)”: The project aims to create a digital archive of marginalized, often neglected or invisible forms of living together in order to broaden our understanding of other forms of living together and social cohesion rethinking from a transregional perspective.

The Berlin University Alliance

The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin – and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalization. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.

Joint press release from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Contact Person for Academic Inquiries

Christian Richter, Berlin University Alliance, Academic Coordinator, Social Cohesion Objective – Focusing on Grand Challenges, Tel.: +49 30 838 69 746, Email: christian.richter@berlin-university-alliance.de 

Press Contact

Christina Camier, Head of Press and Communications, Berlin University Alliance, Tel.: +49 170 590 06 21, Email: christina.camier@berlin-university-alliance.de