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Deep Dive: Social Confrontations

Deep Dive: Social Confrontations

This deep dive is part of the European R&I foresight and public engagement for Horizon Europe project. 


A number of tendencies seem to conspire together to threaten societies with forms of social dysfunction and perhaps breakdown. Social cohesion and social capital have declined very substantially over the last generation or so. So too have levels of trust – not only in how much people feel they can trust others, but also public trust in government and in major institutions.  Many occupations command much less respect than they used to, including politicians, the media, the police, banks and big business.   


At the same time democracy is increasingly threatened by factors such as growing political polarisation, caused not only by the increasing numbers of people who believe in conspiracy theories, but also by the growing importance of money in politics, by the growth of inequality and the rise of populism and the far right. To this mix will be added high levels of disruption caused by the development of AI and other new technologies. 


This expert group on social confrontations is intended to draw attention to issues which may give rise to disruptive social confrontations in the future within the EU – regardless of the parties involved.  Indeed, factors such as the political complexion of governments may change whether a dispute is between social movements and civic authorities, within governments and parliamentary assemblies, or between social groups. 


We have tried to identify the likely root causes of disruptive confrontations while acknowledging that most forms of confrontation are likely to be multi-causal. Four scenarios depict diverging paths how the development of social confrontations in the EU might shape our future society. From these scenarios we derived policy implications with a link to issues for research and innovation.

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OUTPUTS

Policy Brief_Social Confrontations.pdf

Blog

Albert Norström

MEET THE EXPERTS

Susanne Giesecke

Susanne Giesecke

Masafumi Nishi

Masafumi Nishi

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