4 episodes

Social Cohesion: What holds us together? What keeps us apart?

Over the course of a year, academics, journalists, philosophers, and artists from around the world came together to explore the question of social cohesion: what it means, how we can achieve it, and whether it is possible or even desirable. In a four-part podcast series, members of the Humboldt Residency Programme discuss how aspects of diversity, nationalism and populism, technology, and the power of arts and culture contribute to the (un)making of communities.

This podcast series was produced and hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s 2022 Residency Programme.

The Humboldt Residency Programme:

Headed by annually changing hosts, the Humboldt Residency Programme seeks to bring together Humboldtians and other researchers with actors in civil society, journalists, entrepreneurs and artists to work on a common topic. In virtual meetings and a residency period in Berlin, members of the programme explore novel ways of communicating pressing issues of our time.

The 2022 Residency cohort focused on the topic of social cohesion, which included current trends in social division but also new forms of (digital) communality from the perspective of research, journalism and art.

Humboldt Residency Podcast Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

    • Science

Social Cohesion: What holds us together? What keeps us apart?

Over the course of a year, academics, journalists, philosophers, and artists from around the world came together to explore the question of social cohesion: what it means, how we can achieve it, and whether it is possible or even desirable. In a four-part podcast series, members of the Humboldt Residency Programme discuss how aspects of diversity, nationalism and populism, technology, and the power of arts and culture contribute to the (un)making of communities.

This podcast series was produced and hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s 2022 Residency Programme.

The Humboldt Residency Programme:

Headed by annually changing hosts, the Humboldt Residency Programme seeks to bring together Humboldtians and other researchers with actors in civil society, journalists, entrepreneurs and artists to work on a common topic. In virtual meetings and a residency period in Berlin, members of the programme explore novel ways of communicating pressing issues of our time.

The 2022 Residency cohort focused on the topic of social cohesion, which included current trends in social division but also new forms of (digital) communality from the perspective of research, journalism and art.

    Episode 4: Can science and technology draw us towards more united societies?

    Episode 4: Can science and technology draw us towards more united societies?

    What helps to combat misinformation? Members of the Humboldt Residency Programme talk about the threat of online radicalisation and the need for digital literacy as well as successful measures that could help to counter extremism in digital spheres. Coming together to explore these issues are:

    Angela Saini, science journalist and author, New York/London

    Cynthia-Miller Idriss, creative lead of the 2022 cohort of the Humboldt Residency Programme and Director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL), American University, Washington, D.C.

    Pasha Dashtgard, Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology, American University, Washington D.C.

    Moderator: Angela Saini, journalist and author (New York/London)

    The podcast episode is part of a four-part series produced and hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s 2022 Residency Programme.

    • 44 min
    Episode 3: How can art and culture help us imagine a truly cohesive society?

    Episode 3: How can art and culture help us imagine a truly cohesive society?

    Four members of the Humboldt Residency Programme reflect on the power of art and culture to foster relationships within communities. How do the form and content of artistic expression help people to forge individual and group identities? And how can art give voice to those facing social and political repression? Listen to a conversation between

    Amina Atiq, Yemeni-Scouse poet and performance artist, Liverpool

    Lea Kuhar, philosopher and sociologist, Ljubljana/Berlin

    Mala Pandurang, Professor of English and Principal of BMN College, Mumbai

    Cynthia-Miller Idriss, creative lead of the 2022 cohort of the Humboldt Residency Programme and Director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL), American University, Washington, D.C.

    Moderator: Cynthia-Miller Idriss, Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University (Washington, D.C.)

    The podcast episode is part of a four-part series produced and hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s 2022 Residency Programme.

    • 38 min
    Episode 2: Is multiculturalism the friend or foe of social cohesion?

    Episode 2: Is multiculturalism the friend or foe of social cohesion?

    In the second episode of the Humboldt Residency Podcast, researchers from South Africa, Israel, Chile, and Sweden ask whether liberal or leftist political perspectives can achieve social cohesion in diverse and multicultural societies. Coming together to discuss mechanisms of group identity and polarisation are:

    Alexander Stagnell, Postdoctoral Researcher in Rhetoric at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Södertörn University, Sweden

    Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Professor of Political Science at Diego Portales University, Chile

    Christa Rautenbach, Professor of Law at North-West University, South Africa

    Julia Elad-Strenger, Professor of Psychology at Bar Ilan University, Israel

    Moderator: Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, Professor of Political Science, Diego Portales University (Santiago de Chile)

    The podcast episode is part of a four-part series produced and hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s 2022 Residency Programme.

    • 19 min
    Episode 1: Have nationalism and right-wing populism delivered social cohesion historically?

    Episode 1: Have nationalism and right-wing populism delivered social cohesion historically?

    The first episode of the Humboldt Residency Podcast takes us back to the roots of nationalism and reviews the historical effects of right-wing populism in forging homogenous communities. Listen to the conversation between

    Richard Mole, Professor of Political Sociology at University College London

    Alexander Stagnell, Postdoctoral Researcher in Rhetoric at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and Södertörn University, Sweden

    Ronen Steinke, political commentator and author, Berlin

    Moderator: Ronen Steinke, political commentator and author (Berlin)

    The podcast episode is part of a four-part series produced and hosted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s 2022 Residency Programme.

    • 28 min

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