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Research Institute Social Cohesion FGZ

Research Institute Social Cohesion FGZ

The Research Institute Social Cohesion (Forschungsinstitut Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt – FGZ) will focus on questions of social cohesion from different perspectives within the next four years. Based on academic excellence, complementing research profiles, and regional diversity, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), selected eleven universities and research institutes from ten Federal States to collaboratively design, build and run the FGZ. Besides the HBI in Hamburg, the network includes the Technical University of Berlin, the universities of Bielefeld, Bremen, Frankfurt, Halle-Wittenberg, Hanover, Constance and Leipzig, as well as the Soziologische Forschungsinstitut Göttingen and the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society Jena. Starting in 2018, these partners developed a comprehensive research and transfer agenda with more than 70 individual projects and various cross-institutional working groups. This agenda has been evaluated positively and the first main working phase, spanning four years, started 1 June 2020. All in all, more than 100 scientists from many different disciplines will work together to conduct empirical studies, advance theoretical concepts, and engage in various forms of dialogue and knowledge transfer with society, They will cover aspects such as identities and regional life-worlds, inequality and solidarity, media and conflict culture, polarization and populism, but also anti-Semitism and hate crime, and explore these in a European comparison and beyond.

The Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) will contribute its expertise and transfer network in five projects which all focus on different aspects of the connection between media, communication, and social cohesion:
In this 5-minute video, some researchers from the Hamburg section of the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) introduce themselves and their projects. Irene Broer, Aditya Kumar, Wiebke LoosenJan-Hinrik SchmidtWiebke Schoon and Rahel Winter also explain what they think about cohesion in our society and why they think the RISC is so important.


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Project Description

Within the FGZ, eleven German research institutes work together in an interdisciplinary cooperation to investigate the theoretical foundations, empirical sources, social and political effects as well as the historical and regional variants of social cohesion.

About 80 projects will address these issues and engage in various forms of dialogue and knowledge transfer with society. They group in three research clusters, each of them combining different perspectives and approaches for exploring social cohesion. The first cluster deals with "theories, policies and cultures of cohesion". The second cluster researches "structures, spaces and milieus of cohesion" while the third cluster focuses on the “historical, global and regional variations of cohesion." The research and transfer activities of the FGZ are coordinated by the universities of Bremen, Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig.

The central decision-making body of the FGZ is the Institute Council. All eleven locations of the FGZ are represented by one spokesperson for each institute. It is led by the Council’s spokespersons Prof. Olaf Groh-Samberg (University of Bremen), Prof. Nicole Deitelhoff (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) and Prof. Matthias Middell (University of Leipzig).

Central Committees and Organizational Units

Institute Council

The Institute Council is the central decision-making body, representing the eleven partners which form the FGZ. Currently, the following researchers are members of the Institute Council:

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum (Technische Universität Berlin, Center for Research on Antisemitism)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Zick (Bielefeld University)
Prof. Dr. Olaf Groh-Samberg (University of Bremen)
Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main)
Prof. Dr. Berthold Vogel (Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen)
Prof. Dr. Reinhold Sackmann (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg)
Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink (Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut Hamburg)
Prof. Dr. Peter Dirksmeier (Leibniz University Hannover, Leibniz Research Centre TRUST)
Dr. Matthias Quent (Institut für Demokratie und Zivilgesellschaft, Jena)
Prof. Dr. Daniel Thym, LL.M. (University of Konstanz)
Prof. Dr. Matthias Middell (Leipzig University, Centre for Area Studies)

Spokesperson's Council

A council of three spokespersons is managing and representing the FGZ, implementing the resolutions of the Institute's Council and supervising the administrative office of the FGZ.
The following professors are members of the Spokesperson's Council:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Middell (University of Leipzig), Managing Spokesperson
Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main), Spokeswoman
Prof. Dr. Olaf Groh-Samberg (University of Bremen), Spokesperson

Administrative Management

The administrative management of the FGZ is the responsibility of Rebecca Caroline Schmidt (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main), Tel: +49 69 798 31400

Public Relations

If you have any questions about the FGZ, please do not hesitate to contact Pia Siemer from the public relations office, Tel: +49 341 9737892.

List of Participating Institutes

Institute Principal Applicant
Technische Universität Berlin, Center for Research on Antisemitism Professor Dr. Stefanie Schüler- Springorum
Bielefeld University,
Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence Professor Dr. Andreas Zick
University of Bremen, SOCIUM Professor Dr. Olaf Groh- Samberg,
Professor Dr. Uwe Schimank
Goethe University Frankfurt Professor Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff, Professor Dr. Daniela Grunow, Professor Dr. Rainer Forst
Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen Professor Dr. Berthold Vogel
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg Professor Dr. Reinhold Sackmann
Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI), Hamburg Professor Dr. Uwe Hasebrink
Leibniz University Hannover, Leibniz Research Centre TRUST Professor Dr. Peter Dirksmeier
Amadeu Antonio Stiftung,
Initiatives for Civic Empowerment and a Democratic Culture Jena Dr. Matthias Quent
University of Konstanz, Faculty of Law Professor Dr. Daniel Thym
Leipzig University, Centre for Area Studies Professor Dr. Matthias Middell, Professor Dr. Dirk van Laak, Professor Dr. Gert Pickel


Project Information


Duration: 2018-2024

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Third party

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Förderkennzeichen 01UG1857Y

Cooperation Partner

Universität Leipzig
Universität Konstanz
Universität Hannover - Leibniz Forschungszentrum TRUST
Universität Halle
Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen (SOFI)
Universität Frankfurt
Universität Bremen
Universität Bielefeld
Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung/TU Berlin
Institut für Demokratie und Zivilgesellschaft Jena

Contact person

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt
Senior Researcher Digital Interactive Media & Political Communication

PD Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17-83
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17-77

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