Diversity, Values and Social Cohesion – University of Copenhagen

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Diversity, Values and Social Cohesion

Increasingly, immigration gives rise to ethnic diversity in liberal democracies. One worry about diversity, which plays an important role in both academic and public debates, is whether diversity tends to drive down social cohesion and therefore the basis for well-functioning democratic institutions and egalitarian welfare states. In response to such worries about immigration, states tend to emphasize national identities and shared values as a basis for social cohesion and to engage in various forms of nation-building. But what, exactly, is the relation between national values, shared values and various aspects of social cohesion? Do shared values somehow facilitate identification and hence, for example, trust and solidarity? What roles do in-group bias and out-group prejudice play in societies characterized by diversity? How, more generally, is social cohesion created and maintained in diverse societies? And what forms of difference can and should be accommodated in liberal democracies?


10.00-11.15 Elizabeth Theiss-Morse (University of Nebraska-Lincoln),  “Con La Vara que Midas…National Identity and Attitudes toward Immigration and Emigration in Mexico.”
Discussant: David Miller (University of Oxford)

11.15-11-30 Break

11.30-12.45 Bo Rothstein (Gothenburg University), "Regions of trust and distrust: how good institutions can foster social cohesion"
Discussant: Kristian Kongshøj (University of Aalborg)

12.45-13.45 Lunch

13.45-15.00 Andrew Mason (University of Warwick), "Faith schools and the cultivation of tolerance"
Discussant: Nils Holtug (University of Copenhagen)

15.00-15.15 Break

15.15-16.30 John Dovidio (Yale University), TBA
Discussant: Bjørn Hallson (University of Copenhagen)