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Social cohesion: converging and diverging trends

Green, Andy and Janmaat, Germ and Cheng, Helen (2011) Social cohesion: converging and diverging trends. National Institute Economic Review, 215 (1). r6-r22. ISSN 0027-9501

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The article is based on research in LLAKES Centre funded by the ESRC. Social theorists frequently argue that social cohesion is under threat in developed societies from the multiple pressures of globalisation. This article seeks to test this hypothesis through examining the trends across countries and regions in key indicators of social cohesion, including social and political trust, tolerance and perceptions of conflict. It finds ample evidence of long-term declines in cohesion in many countries, not least as exemplified by the erosion of social and political trust, which is particularly dramatic in the UK. The trends are not entirely convergent, since on most indicators Nordic countries has become more cohesive, yet each country faces challenges. In the final section the authors argue that different ‘regimes of social cohesion’ can be identified in specific clusters of countries which are based on different cultural and institutional foundations. In the ‘liberal model’, which applies in the UK and the US, the greatest threat to cohesion comes not from increasing cultural diversity, but from increasing barriers to mobility and the subsequent atrophy of faith in individual opportunity and meritocratic rewards – precisely those beliefs which have traditionally held liberal societies together.
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Lifelong and Comparative Education
IOE Departments > Departments > Quantitative Social Science
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (1)
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2011 10:32
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 12:21
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/6942

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