Introduction: The Turn to Cohesion in European Politics

  • Jan Dobbernack
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


Social cohesion has become a problem across much of Western Europe, and the term has been brought to bear on a surprisingly vast range of issues: the segregation of communities along ethnic or religious lines poses a challenge to cohesion, as does the presence of welfare recipients in Europe’s increasingly precarious systems of collective solidarity. The absence of cohesion prepares the ground for crime and anti-social behaviour, which are exacerbated by expanding divisions in society. Declining turnouts at elections and growing political apathy signal the fraying of cohesion and the fragility of values and virtues that sustain liberal-democratic order. Social problems are considered newly problematic for the damage they inflict on social cohesion. Their urgency is traced to the effects of a growing social rift.


Civil Society Social Cohesion Social Integration Welfare Recipient Social Solidarity 
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Copyright information

© Jan Dobbernack 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Dobbernack
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.European University InstituteUK
  2. 2.University of LincolnUK

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