ResearchResearch projects
Forschungsinstitut gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt (FGZ) – Teilinstitut Hannover

Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) - Section Hanover

Leaders:  Prof. Dr. Peter Dirksmeier
Team:  Angelina Göb
Year:  2020
Sponsors:  Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Lifespan:  2020 – 2024
Fig.: University and research institutes involved in the FGZ (left) (Angelina Göb)

"We have to stay in dialogue with each other in our society, be respectful and negotiate differences of opinion as constructively as possible" (Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research).

The Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) was founded in June 2020 to meet this political demand in a science-based framework. The association of eleven university and research institutions is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

RISC is a multidisciplinary network of more than 100 researchers operating throughout Germany. In over 80 projects, the diversity of forms of social cohesion is investigated theoretically and empirically, regionally and thematically by comparing them. Furthermore, great importance is attached to the transfer of knowledge and the development of practice-relevant strategies for dealing with contemporary societal challenges.

The RISC section in Hanover examines aspects of societal cohesion from a spatial, regional perspective - from neighbourhoods to European perspectives - and analyses patterns and interrelationships of (dis)cohesion. The central question is whether and how spatial structures, elements and relationships influence societal cohesion.

The following projects are conducted at the Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography:

  1. Cohesion in and through neighbourhoods – urban district studies and Regionalpanel NRW and Lower Saxony
  2. Places of encounter and cohesion - a comparative study in Halle and Hanover

The projects are dealing with contacts and interactions between people in urban public spaces and the influence of encounter contexts on their attitudes and prejudices.

Project 1, in cooperation with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence in Bielefeld, investigates how and in what ways societal cohesion differs in various neighbourhood interaction spaces. In this context, societal cohesion is regarded as a dependent variable whose constitutional conditions need to be spatially located and socially contextualised. On the basis of a primary data collection within the framework of the Regionalpanel, a quantitative representative survey in twelve municipalities in Germany, the disciplinary perspectives of social geography, social psychology and sociology are combined in a complementary manner in order to explore spatially related attitudes and behaviour towards (dis)cohesion.

Project 2 compares different urban sites of encounter in East and West Germany and deals with contact constellations, the conditions and consequences of (dis)cohesive societal cohesion. Since encounters take place in the context of increasing diversity and plural affiliations in a modern global society, the occurrence of experiences of otherness and conflicts is (more) likely. Therefore, the micro-situational investigation examines how encounters are experienced and lived, and which patterns of understanding, expectations and practices of action are behind these constructions of cohesion.



  • Dirksmeier, P.; Göb, A.; Herrmann, S.; Ibendorf, J.; Knaps, F.; Othengrafen, F.; Ruffing, E. (2020): Räumliche Unterschiede und gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt. In: Deitelhoff, N.; Groh-Samberg, O.; Midell, M. (Hrsg.): Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt. Ein interdisziplinärer Dialog. Frankfurt/New York: Campus, S. 273-294. DOI: 10.12907/978-3-593-44646-2

Presentations to Scientific Audiences

  • Dirksmeier, P.: Konflikt und Vorurteil im super-diversen Singapur. Jahreskonferenz des Forschungsinstituts Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt. Online 09.07.2021.
  • Göb, A.; Rees, Y.: Alltag als Krise?! Sozialraumforschung in urbanen Nachbarschaften, „Zusammenhalt in der Krise“, Jahreskonferenz des Forschungsinstituts Gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt (online), 09.07.2021.
  • Göb, A.; Rees, Y.: Neighbourhoods in crisis? A mixed-methods study on conflict and cohesion in socio-spatial entities, „Social Cohesion in Times of Crisis: Concepts, Approaches, and Perspectives“, Summer School of the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) (online), 05.07.2021.
  • Göb, A.: Doing Social Cohesion – neighbourly throwntogetherness in urban encounters, “Encounters: the Coincidence of space, time, and subjectivity”, Cambridge – St John’s College (Ort), 19.09.2019.

Panel chair/host

  • Dirksmeier, P.; Göb, A.: (Dis)Cohesion as sense of urbanity (Titel), „Sensing the City – Place, People, Power“ (Name der Veranstaltung), RC21 Conference (Track: Urban social practices & experience) (online), 15.07.2021.
  • Göb, A.; Rees, J.: Sozialräumliche Verortung von Zusammenhalt: Nachbarschaften als alltäglicher Aushandlungsort von Krisen, FGZ-Jahreskonferenz 2021: Zusammenhalt in der Krise (online), 09.07.2021.
  • Dirksmeier, P.; Göb, A.: Stadt – Begegnung – Zusammenhalt (Titel), „Räume des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalts – Formen und Formate von sozialer Kohäsion“, Auftaktveranstaltung des Teilinstituts Hannover (online), 09.03.2021.

Transfer Events

  • Göb, A.: Nachbarschafts-Talk (Titel), „Das grüne Wohnzimmer" (Name der Veranstaltung), Hannover, 23.07.2021.
  • Göb, A.: Nachbarschaftsforschung - Forschung in der Nachbarschaft, „Lust auf Linden-Süd Show, Hannover, 10.07.2021.