Veranstaltung am

Veranstaltungsort: online

The 18th GSGAS International Summer School on "Social Cohesion in a transnational and global perspective" will take place in a virtual space from 21 to 24 September. In addition to panels organized by doctoral candidates, the keynote will be given by Albrecht Koschorke (Konstanz) on "Social Cohesion Through Representation? Cultural Preconditions of Political Liberalism". On Tuesday a dialogue on Decolonisation of institutions will take place.

Research Context of the Summer School

Over the past decade, the summer school of Leipzig’s Graduate School Global and Area Studies has established itself as an important meeting place for the interdisciplinary discussion of transnationalization and transculturalism as well as new trends in the research of globalization in general. The 2020 edition, which is organized in close cooperation with the Research Centre for Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe) and the Research Institute Social Cohesion, addresses the complex topic of social cohesion in a transregional and global perspective.

With its thematic focus, the summer school takes up the current public debate about the many facets of social cohesion and this possible risk of its (partial) dissolution when political polarization grows or external shocks stress institutions as well as trust.

The summer school addresses the needs of PhD candidates both coming from the Leipzig Graduate School Global and Area Studies and from the newly founded Research Institute Social Cohesion, which spans eleven academic institutions across Germany. It further provides an opportunity to engage in intense exchange with fellow PhD candidates and postdocs from abroad on topics of common interest and to network across disciplinary as well as geographical boundaries. Thus, we heartily invite young researchers from all over the world whose research interests are related to the focus of this year’s summer school.

Thematic Focus of the Summer School

The German neologism “gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt”, which only poorly translates into the well-established academic category “social cohesion”, has become increasingly popular and adopted as a term since about 2013 and has seen a rise in use in political terminology since the so-called refugee crisis. While it is already interesting to follow the sociolinguistic development of the term, it is even more interesting to see which topics are addressed in the debate: some of them are classics of societal analysis – such as questions of social inequality, cultural recognition, or class and milieu building – and others are relatively new like the growing criticism towards a certain interpretation of globalization. The debate can be taken as an indicator of tectonic rearrangements within societies and in the world order. The more recent crisis related to the worldwide spread of the virus that can cause COVID-19, on the one hand, has somehow changed the focus of the previous debate (where right-wing populism was very much at the centre) and, on the other hand, relates explicitly to the former fear of a loss of social cohesion. While most often these debates only focus on a single society or on one part of the world, the specific perspective of our summer school invites transregional comparisons and the study of entanglements and mutual learning processes between world regions. Such a focus is evident both in the case of a crisis that explicitly relates to migration and in case of a worldwide “natural disaster in slow motion”, as the Coronavirus crisis has been described most recently by German virologist Christian Drosten. These two cases, which are so closely related to each other, encourage comparative thoughts and investigations, and we hope that such current developments are thought-provoking enough, even for those working on completely different topics, to participate in a common debate and to relate ideas and findings to this general theme of social cohesion under stress by challenges that go far beyond the limits and borders of a single society.

The summer school would like to offer an arena for analysing the historical, global, and regional variance of social cohesion – or the risks it is exposed to – with the help of a broad spectrum of methods and approaches.

Sequence of Events of the Summer School

The summer school is organized into panels of 3–5 presentations each. Additionally, invited keynote speakers will introduce main aspects of the general theme. At the end of the summer school, a round table with reports from the panels will bring the major findings together and integrate them into a final discussion.

Organizational Issues

The conference fees will be waived this year.

For registration please use the link to the registration form in the right column.

With successful participation in the summer school, it will be possible to receive a certificate from the Graduate School Global and Area Studies. Further information can be found under:

Date: 21 - 24 September 2020

ECTS: You can also earn ECTS credits for the summer school (3 ECTS for continuous participation in the summer school). The acceptance of credits is the responsibility of your home university.