Pluralism, Diversity, and Peaceful Coexistence: Modus Vivendi and Polycentric Orders

The increasing social diversity and pluralism of values, preferences, worldviews, and ways of life created by ongoing technological, social, demographic, and cultural changes are redefining contemporary societies and communities. These changes generate profound challenges to existing political and governance systems. Especially important are changes arising from migration and immigration, each of which promise to improve diversity and economic well-being yet confront resistance in some communities. Responding to these challenges requires a renewed effort to understand what kind of institutional arrangements and governance systems facilitate or undermine tolerance, peaceful coexistence and productive cooperation between individuals and communities at all levels—from the local to the international level—in conditions of deep pluralism and divergence of beliefs, values and preferences.

CGM is responding to these challenges through the development of this academic initiative to analyze how governance systems facilitate or undermine peaceful coexistence and productive cooperation between individuals and communities everywhere. Global trends today reflect increasing social diversity and pluralism of values and worldviews that are redefining communities and may generate profound challenges to existing political and governance arrangements. This is important to help understand and address the growing challenges faced by societies in our era of growing ideological and social polarization. As such, identification of ways to work together toward the common good is more critical than ever. 

This activity focuses on the philosophy, theory, institutional analysis, and design of “modus vivendi” governance arrangements, which support the conditions for “live and let live” social orders, in circumstances of deep pluralism and cleavages. To support this project, the Center has established a working group of international scholars dedicated to the development of this agenda and serve as an international hub for the researchers in this domain. This group is developing institutional analyses underpinning the intersection between the Modus Vivendi approach to pluralism and the polycentric approach to governance, pioneered by Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Elinor Ostrom.