Global Social Challenges

How do we find our way in the COVID-19 pandemic? How do we sensibly tackle international climate change and energy transition? And how do we find answers to questions about the global financial crisis? In other words: how can we best address global societal challenges?

Answers to the world's biggest problems

Global Social Challenges is one of the strategic pillars of ESSB. The goal is to find socially relevant answers to the biggest problems we face in the world. We want to achieve this by conducting interdisciplinary research into the most important international questions for our generation.

Six major challenges

Together with researchers and partners from different disciplines and fields, we are working on six major challenges:

  1. The climate and energy transition
  2. The global financial crisis
  3. Governing future security
  4. Population and society
  5. The legitimacy crisis of international political systems
  6. Forced migration

Socio-economic resilience

These challenges have a major impact on our society. It requires long-term socio-economic resilience. That is why we critically examine trajectories in the past, in the present, and for the future. We do this using state-of-the-art research techniques.

New solutions for complex problems

Many of today's social challenges are complex: they transcend city boundaries, regional cultures, and national borders. The global COVID-19 pandemic, the climate transition, and the fourth industrial revolution call for new solutions that do not yet exist. We therefore explore these problems across borders and from different disciplines, theories, and methods. 

“The research pillar is designed to inspire innovative thinking towards achieving global sustainability within the context of a destabilised unpredictable and uncertain world”

Click on one of the banners to read more about our ongoing research projects

The Climate and Energy Transition

How can old and new powers unite to meet the climate challenges of our time?

The Global Financial Crisis

Governance reform of global financial systems

Governing Future Security

Investigating the relationship between technology, security, and transforming societies

Population and Society

Using research data to gain insight into how the population is developing

The Legitimacy Crisis of International Political Systems

What is the impact of supranational organizations on the functioning of contemporary democracies

Forced Migration

Investigating the economic, political, social and environmental aspects of forced migration

Collaboration between science and policy

Academic research is only part of the puzzle. We collaborate with government policy makers and other partners in the field. By using their input, we cooperatively arrive at practical solutions. By working together, we bring science and policy together.

Would you also like to work with us or participate in a research study? Get involved in our research!

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