Intersections: Practicing Pluralism

Intersections of Pluralism and Social Cohesion

Publication Date: January 2019

How does the concept of social cohesion intersect with that of pluralism? Social cohesion is a concept that policymakers in some contexts have used as a framework to foster well-being in diverse and post-conflict societies. Some interpretations of the concept portray diversity as a threat to social cohesion and seek to identify the mechanisms that might minimize this threat, such as increased trust among groups, fairer distribution of resources, or practices of collaboration. This understanding of social cohesion complements and reinforces the goals of pluralism. By identifying the institutions that foster recognition and drive greater inclusion in diverse societies, a pluralism lens on social cohesion suggests both ways to enhance social cohesion and to counter the fear of some practitioners that diversity is detrimental to social well-being.

Jane Jenson

Jane Jenson is a Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at the Université de Montréal and a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Successful Societies Program. She is also the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Governance. Her research is focused on ongoing changes in social citizenship in Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Her recent publications include “Historical Transformations of Canada’s Social Architecture: Institutions, Instruments, and Ideas” and “Narratives and Regimes of Social and Human Rights: The Jackpines of the Neoliberal Era.”