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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a constellation of health, social, economic and political crises across the globe, drastically changing the daily lives of billions of people. Governments in many countries have imposed restrictions on individual mobility, which brought public life to a stop in many ...

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a constellation of health, social, economic and political crises across the globe, drastically changing the daily lives of billions of people. Governments in many countries have imposed restrictions on individual mobility, which brought public life to a stop in many places, and to some extent, continues to do so. This has led to a dramatic disruption of societal life. The general feeling of insecurity that goes along with the pandemic is strengthened by continued extraordinary governmental measures.
It can be assumed that society will be living with the COVID-19 pandemic for the longer term. From a sociological perspective, this pandemic offers a unique opportunity to examine how a sudden and profound threat to existential security impacts social cohesion: Are societies “coming together” to withstand the shared threat? Or are bonds of solidarity weakening, as the question of how to respond to the crisis is increasingly divisive? Moreover, social inequalities – particularly along income, race, ethnicity, and gender lines – influence which groups are affected most by the pandemic with regards to infection as well as the pandemic’s social and economic consequences. Whoever belonged to a vulnerable group before the pandemic (e.g., the poor, the unemployed, ethnic or racial minorities), likely has fewer resources to cope with these continuing challenges, so that inequalities might even widen. In order to build long-term strategies for dealing with the social consequences of the pandemic, a strong foundation of innovative scientific knowledge covering a broad spectrum of societies and perspectives is necessary.

Contributors are encouraged to address the impact of the pandemic on aspects of social cohesion, such as:

- Social relations and loneliness;
- Trust in others;
- Attitudes towards diversity;
- Identification and feelings of connection to society;
- Institutional trust, particularly in political institutions;
- Inequality, exclusion and polarization;
- Solidarity and helpfulness; civic and political engagement.

This research topic particularly welcomes original empirical contributions making use of quantitative data and, ideally, involving a comparative perspective. We seek to cover a broad range of countries, regions, and cultures, with a special interest in those that typically do not receive extensive attention in the literature (e.g., the Global South).

Keywords: pandemic, social cohesion;, existential insecurity, social trust, institutional trust, conflicts, Covid-19, social inequalities, exclusion, solidarity


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