International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Research Focus Social Cohesion

“Good” social coexistence requires not only a certain degree of value consensus (to be determined and discussed in more detail), but also the constant negotiation of value conflicts. Value conflicts are not per se negative and dangerous for societal cohesion: They can also be understood to form the basis of a stable pluralistic society. Ethical analyses conducted within the research focus Social Cohesion identify explicit and implicit conflicts of values within exemplary fields of action and explore the potential of these conflicts for societal cohesion without taking the latter for granted.

This subject area calls for a thematic and methodological bridging of normative and analytical-descriptive approaches while considering the public debate. Conflicts over value pluralism prove to be particularly profound when connected with the fear of breaking traditions, the loss of privileges or the supposed disintegration of existing orders. Thus, the research area links diverse disciplinary approaches (in particular from the social sciences, art and cultural studies, media studies, theologies, and application-related ethics) in order to form an integrated interdisciplinary concept. This provides various methods for investigating value pluralisms and the associated debates and can serve to answer questions in the context of societal cohesion.

Current Projects

  • ESKrim: Ethnic Segregation and Crime 
  • PODESTA: Populism and Democracy in the City

Selected Publications and Project Outcomes