1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Research for Social Change (UNRISD Fortieth Anniversary Report)


From Chapter 3: Social Cohesion and Conflict

Social policy is concerned not only with human welfare, but also with social cohesion. While certain government policies may divide societies and fuel conflict, there is fairly widespread agreement that a role and goal of government is to promote social integration by creating or strengthening institutions that improve social welfare and human security, as well as foster harmonious social relations. Beyond this, however, there is considerable confusion as to what the term “social integration” actually means. It is often interpreted narrowly to mean standards or improvements in social conditions and relations. But the Institute’s work in this area has adopted a broader definition, which includes not only normative aspects but also analysis of established patterns of social relations that support or undermine people’s livelihood and shape their life chances.

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