On June 4th, the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES) was launched at the Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral in Santiago, Chile. COES is directed by Dante Contreras and is funded by the Chilean government through its program “Fondo de Financiamiento de Centros de Investigación en Áreas Prioritarias (Fondap- CONICYT)”. In his opening speech at the event, Dante Contreras presented COES, its research objectives and the team of people working at the centre. COES brings together more than thirty academics from four different universities in Chile (Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez and Universidad Diego Portales) and from multiple academic disciplines. Over the next five years, this team will work together to generate new evidence on the different dimensions of social conflict and cohesion in Chile. Their research findings will contribute to creating new public policies for a more equal, inclusive and integrated Chile.
President of Chile
The main guest at the launch was the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet. In her speech she highlighted the important political and social changes that are happening in Chile and stressed the importance of an initiative like COES. She asked the researchers COES to make a special effort disseminate their research findings because “every Chilean should understand the society we live in”.
Discrimination and inequality affect Chile's approach to development
Two distinguished international professors were also invited to the event. James Sidanius, from Harvard University and Frances Stewart, from Oxford University, who presented their work on discrimination and inequality. Later, in a forum hosted by the TVN anchor Mónica Pérez, both professors participated in an interesting conversation with the Director of the Centre for New Development thinking, Kirsten Sehnbruch, and the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Professor of the Psychology from the Universidad Católica, Roberto González. The debate was focused on how discrimination and inequality can affect Chile’s approach to development.