National Values and Social Cohesion

29 August 2017

Conference at Centre for Advanced Migration Studies (AMIS), University of Copenhagen, 4-6 October, 2017. 

Western liberal democracies are generally experiencing increasing levels of ethnic and religious diversity. And increases in diversity are accompanied by worries about, e.g., parallel societies, terrorism, nationalism and whether diversity is compatible with redistribution in the form of a robust welfare state. Very often, such worries are framed as concerns about social cohesion. Furthermore, public policies and debates reflect a desire to promote social cohesion in response to challenges perceived to be due to diversity. More specifically, political responses have centred on the aim of preserving/fostering a sense of community, often in the form of shared values or a national identity that may unify citizens and establish the attachments required for e.g. trust and solidarity at the societal level. But does social cohesion really require or depend on shared values? And if yes, are some values more conducive to social cohesion than others? Here, political theorists disagree on the nature of the values required, with nationalists emphasizing the sharing of a national culture, republicans the shared rights and duties of citizens, liberals a shared commitment to basic principles of liberty and equality, and multiculturalists a shared commitment to the recognition of difference. However, these claims about the impact of values on social cohesion have only been tested empirically to a limited extent. In this conference, the philosophical, political and empirical assumptions behind the claim that shared values / a national identity fosters social cohesion will be scrutinized from a range of different academic disciplines.

Read more about the speakers and the full programme

Conference participation is free of charge but registration is needed. Please note that there is a limited number of seats (first-come. first-served), and there will be provided coffee/tea and lunch.

About AMIS

The Centre for Advanced Migration Studies (AMIS) is an interdisciplinary forum for migration research. Combining a variety of approaches, including the social sciences, philosophy, history, ethnology, linguistics and the arts, the Centre promotes cutting-edge research on a broad range of issues in the theory and practice of migration. Thus, a guiding principle for all of AMIS’ work is that the challenges posed by migration require a collaborative effort from a wide range of disciplines.

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