Social cohesion and inclusive social development in Latin America: A proposal for an era of uncertainties

What holds societies together? What identifies people and motivates them to live together voluntarily without the need for constant external coercion or immediate self-interest? At times of great uncertainty, crises, and existential challenges, social cohesion assumes a central role in the progress of Latin American and Caribbean countries towards sustainable development. This publication examines the concept of social cohesion and offers an equality-centered theoretical approximation, a measurement framework for 18 of the region’s countries, and a policy agenda for social cohesion, against a backdrop defined by a pandemic, uncertainty, and challenges such as rampant inequality, mistrust of institutions, rising social unrest and different manifestations of violence. The conclusions call for the strengthening of some of the enabling elements of social cohesion, from a medium- and long-term perspective.