Prof. Darren McCauley has been appointed to the Chair of Management of International Social Challenges at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The chair is intended to stimulate innovative interdisciplinary thinking to tackle major social issues such as climate change, migration and poverty. McCauley is also academic director of the strategic pillar 'Global Social Challenges' at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB).
The chair position is designed to drive innovative interdisciplinary thinking, cutting across political science, sociology, engineering and physical sciences. McCauley and his team will do this through developing a uniting framework for assessing the roles of government, NGOs and business in achieving global sustainability within the current destabilised unpredictable and uncertain world.
The role of climate change and the energy transition in multilevel governance will become more significant as both social pressures demand a global collective response while climatic impacts become more apparent. At the same time, international institutions will become less potent as unrepresented emerging economies challenge the world order with opposing values, traditions and objectives. These challenges will lead to the emergence of anti-establishment social movements on both the traditional left and right political divides.
The last international social challenge involves getting to grips with the technological revolution. These international social challenges are set within the overarching framework of Global Governance for Sustainability - Managing just transitions. The chair will inspire research and teaching that will assess how collective governance capacity is addressed and enhanced while investigating the emergence of new inequalities and the policies set to be developed in their response.
Societal impact and the City of Rotterdam
The programme offers the innovative potential for connecting with local, national and international stakeholders considering the applied nature of the problems addressed. The chair will inspire new connections with Rotterdam where sustainability initiatives are growing, and the implications of solving these international social challenges are felt locally particularly with regards to the port. Rotterdam has more than a local impact. Changes here affect global supply systems and international networks.
The chair will seek to establish a central role in how to best develop the research and teaching for Rotterdam and its broader impact through developing methodologies that codesign research with local and international stakeholders as well as delivering teaching needed for business, government and NGOs.
Pillar Global Societal Challenges
The Global Social Challenges pillar is one of the four pillars of the ESSB strategy 'Meeting the Future Society' . From this pillar connections are made with the other three pillars of the strategy, Behavioural Change, Vital Cities and Citizens and Oganisational Dynamics in a Digital Society.
The pillar provides an opportunity to consider the global context in which society faces key challenges in the management of multi-dimensional transitions. In line with the strategy, its attempts to further extend multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary cooperation whilst increasing our collective impact on society.
About Darren McCauley
Professor McCauley obtained his PhD in Political Science and International Relations in 2008 from Queens University Belfast. He previously held his Senior Lectureship at the University of St. Andrews, and lectureships at Stirling University and Trinity College Dublin. Sustainability has been a central theme for his research and teaching throughout this time. He is currently driving several international initiatives on the just transition, which is a global effort to explore the consequences of moving to a low carbon world. Prof. McCauley is notably an associate of UK Energy Research Centre as well as several professional associations.