'Things fall apart': social imaginaries and the politics of cohesion

Dobbernack, Jan (2010) 'Things fall apart': social imaginaries and the politics of cohesion. Critical Policy Studies, 4 (2). pp. 146-163. ISSN 1946-0171

Full content URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1946017...

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


‘Social cohesion’ has been adopted on policy agendas across Europe. In the way the notion has been applied on recent public policy agendas, social problems are generally brought into connection with deficiencies in the social fabric and with scenarios of social disintegration. Policies towards cohesion, in turn, rely on ideas of civic activation and the inculcation of a sense of individual responsibility. Cohesion thus appears intimately linked to a revision of the role of government. To understand what it is that connects the turn to cohesion with new understandings of social governance, the article proposes the lens of ‘social imaginaries’. Drawing on contributions by Charles Taylor,
Cornelius Castoriadis and Ernesto Laclau on ‘social imaginaries’, it suggests that this conceptual tool proves useful to understand how, with cohesion, a re-description of society links up to a re-orientation of social governance.

Keywords:social cohesion, social imaginaries, critical policy studies
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:7613
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 20:04

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