international conference rustenburg, south africa 2011

social cohesion: the missing link in regional integration?

 Hosted by the Department of Politics, University of Johannesburg Rustenburg, South Africa30 November-3 December 2011Conference Synopsis: Social cohesion exists when the relationship among different individuals and groups within society as well as the relationship between the state and civil society are characterized by a set of attitudes and norms that includes a sense of belonging, of trust and of a willingness to participate and help. Regional integration, in turn, refers to increasing interactions between territorial entities in the political, economic, security, social and cultural domains, leading to the creation of rules and institutions and the formation of new identities and political communities. Regional integration can occur between different areas within a country, specific areas of adjacent countries, a number of neighbouring countries, and all states in a particular continent or geographic region. The key question to be addressed is whether social cohesion (or elements thereof) is a prerequisite for or a product of regional integration schemes. More concretely, does greater regional integration among the states of Southern Africa, for instance, require more social cohesion between the different national populations, or will higher levels of social cohesion be a consequence of deeper integration?There will be three keynote panels, with pre-selected central presentations:Panel 1: “Factors influencing social cohesion in different societies”Panel 2: “Levels of regional integration”Panel 3: “The interplay of social cohesion and regional integration”RISC’s working groups, in association with the RISC conference organizers, will also convene six open panels. Paper proposals are invited for any of these six panels. Proposals must have a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words and be sent directly to panel coordinators  by 10 May 2011. Please keep a copy of your proposal for reference purposes. You will be notified by the end of May if your abstract has been accepted for the conference.