Social Cohesion Report Enables a Greater Comprehension of the Recent Developments

The “Social Cohesion Development” report has been published by researcher Aysen Ataseven this year on behalf of INGEV. The report, which was prepared using data gathered from 1514 interviews across 26 provinces in Turkey, focuses on comprehending the dimensions of social cohesion and the current situation in the country.

As the subject continues to be relevant, INGEV in cooperation with Istanbul Bilgi University has published a Social Cohesion Development Report in 2020 as part of the Human Development Monitor in order to understand the current situation and to monitor the integrity of the transitions in the social dynamics in Turkey. The study enables a greater comprehension of the recent developments in social cohesion.

The Social Cohesion Index created as a result of this study lays out important evaluation indicators for social life and will make it possible to more methodically follow this issue in the future

Research in this study was carried out with the aim of determining the level of social cohesion in Turkey during the recent period of increasing political polarization. In order to bring greater clarity to the issue, the report prepared a framework for the creation of a “Social Cohesion Index,” which was modified from the social cohesion model of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) and Bertelsmenn Stiftung.

Using this approach, social cohesion was examined under three main headings, adhering to its conceptual framework:

  • Connectedness
  • Social relations
  • Understanding of Common Benefit

Accordingly, cases subject to social adaptation were determined under each heading and corresponding sets of questions were developed based upon this.

The Social Cohesion Index

In the face of deepening polarization, social cohesion has become one of the most pressing issues on the political and public agenda in both Turkey and the rest of the world. In 2018, INGEV, in cooperation with the Istanbul Policy Center, developed a research approach for evaluating the social cohesion process prior to conducting a national survey, the results of which were then published as a report for political decision-makers to identify current strengths and challenges and offer policy recommendations for improving social cohesion in Turkey.

Since 2018, Turkey and many places around the world have been experiencing a period of system transformation, where new social norms are emerging as societal tensions are being addressed and the relationships with political bodies are being redefined. Accompanied by the 2020 COVID pandemic, this transition period has truly become a challenge in many critical areas for citizen-state relations for Turkey and governments worldwide. Throughout the pandemic, the main demands of citizens from their governments have remained effective economic management, full transparency, and strong actions.

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