Increasing social inequality, tensions between ethnic and religious communities, polarization, radicalization, new forms of (cyber) crime, health care reforms: there are many challenges that we as a society and individuals are facing today. These challenges are so complex that it is necessary to bring together different perspectives, knowledge and insights from various disciplines within science and practice.
Only by combining different perspectives and specializations we can come to new scientific insights and formulate rich answers which do justice to the complex reality. The Institute for Societal Resilience (ISR) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, therefore strives to establish partnerships with the government, various industries, societal organizations and other academic institutions.
In addition to the cooperation with various societal partners, the ISR unites scientists from various disciplines within social sciences. This multidisciplinary approach is essential to describe, interpret and analyze the challenges society is facing today in all its complexity, and to reach new insights. Our multidisciplinary approach is illustrated by the various research projects.
What is resilience?
Within our research the concept of societal resilience plays a pivotal role. The focus on this particular concept stems from the question: are societies resilient enough to deal with the many complex social challenges of today and the future? Here, we understand societal resilience as the reactions and strategies at the level of individuals, groups, organizations and societies that are effective and innovative, and that contribute to solutions that make societies more resilient to current and future challenges.