This article addresses gaps in linking the conceptualization and practice of vertical social cohesion. Through a review of literature, examination of field-based case studies and focused discussions with academics, the article crystalizes the understanding of vertical social cohesion—often restricted to state-society relations—and offers four mutually reinforcing strands of the vertical dimension that are cognizant of the hybridity of state, non-state, formal and informal institutions that exist in most societies. Through a deeper reflection on practice, the article discusses two considerations for strengthening the practice of vertical social cohesion that should start with intentional consideration of the vertical dimension of social cohesion during the intervention design: leveraging governance programming based on its complementarities with social cohesion; and careful blending of interventions that promote horizontal and vertical social cohesion. It argues that, while the focus of community-level social cohesion interventions is often biased towards strengthening horizontal social relations, both the vertical and horizontal dimensions are important in shaping the nature and strength of a society’s cohesiveness. The article contends that social cohesiveness is determined by how vertical and horizontal social cohesion interact and proposes a tool—Social Cohesion’s Four-Quadrants Model—to harmonize and weigh programming choices in order to influence broader, sustainable societal change.
Vertical Social Cohesion, Catholic Relief Services, Horizontal Social Cohesion, Social Cohesion, Binding Bonding and Bridging (3Bs) Methodology, Social Cohesion's Four-Quadrants Model
Kamatsiko, Valarie Vat
"Vertical Social Cohesion: Linking Concept to Practice,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 28:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol28/iss1/5