Project

Does religion contribute to cohesion in Europe?

Goal: The aim of the research project is to examine empirically how, in view of the current flight and migration dynamics, the potential of religion can be optimally used to create trust between the autochthonous population and migrants and thus strengthen cohesion in Europe. The theoretical framework of the project is the social capital approach, which is used to evaluate and develop the work of local partners in practice (Christian and Muslim communities working with migrants or refugees). Practice partners have been selected from Germany, Poland and the Netherlands to capture the diversity in the EU with regard to the public significance of religion as an important context factor. Methodologically, the project follows a mixed-methods approach, which links methods of quantitative and qualitative social research. A survey among members of the religious communities involved is used to examine the existence of social capital, the structural conditions of engagement and intervening individual characteristics such as religiosity and political attitudes. Additional qualitative interviews will be conducted in which members describe their commitment with regard to their religious beliefs and traditions (religious teachings, narratives, etc.). The findings of both methodological approaches are then related to each other in the interpretation of the data. On the basis of these findings, strategies and interventions will be developed that improve social capital building through the work of religious communities.

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Alexander Unser
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The aim of the research project is to examine empirically how, in view of the current flight and migration dynamics, the potential of religion can be optimally used to create trust between the autochthonous population and migrants and thus strengthen cohesion in Europe. The theoretical framework of the project is the social capital approach, which is used to evaluate and develop the work of local partners in practice (Christian and Muslim communities working with migrants or refugees). Practice partners have been selected from Germany, Poland and the Netherlands to capture the diversity in the EU with regard to the public significance of religion as an important context factor. Methodologically, the project follows a mixed-methods approach, which links methods of quantitative and qualitative social research. A survey among members of the religious communities involved is used to examine the existence of social capital, the structural conditions of engagement and intervening individual characteristics such as religiosity and political attitudes. Additional qualitative interviews will be conducted in which members describe their commitment with regard to their religious beliefs and traditions (religious teachings, narratives, etc.). The findings of both methodological approaches are then related to each other in the interpretation of the data. On the basis of these findings, strategies and interventions will be developed that improve social capital building through the work of religious communities.