Solid and socially relevant research at ISS

Global Development and Social Justice Research programme

As a leader in the field of development studies, the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) finds responses to today’s global problems. Issues such as poverty, inequality, migration, conflict and ecology are important in the ISS research agenda.

Our Global Development and Social Justice research programme takes a critical approach to policy responses that are formulated to social, economic and political issues. The critical attitude is the result of a deeply felt need to analyse the way in which power differences among groups of people result in policies and practices that are highly beneficial to the powerful and detrimental to the powerless.

Research highlights

Inaugural lecture by Professor Lorenzo Pellegrini - 14 September

Supply-side climate policies and the fight to leave fossil fuels under the soil

Ebba Tellander successfully defends her PhD thesis

Investigating the use of political space to protest in countries with violent or repressive regimes

PhD defence by Fergus Simpson

The political ecology of conservation at a violent frontier constellation in South Kivu, Eastern DRC

Research values

ISS is committed to a more just social order at a global scale. We combine rigorous academic research with high societal relevance that has the potential to drive action and contribute to change:

  • Critical - we use a critical approach and analyze how power relations have produced policies and practices that are highly beneficial to the powerful and detrimental to the powerless
  • Participatory - we produce knowledge with stakeholders, rather than only for them and seek to produce knowledge in ways that engage those most affected
  • Societally relevant - we work in partnership with others, including NGOs, social movements, and other local, national and global networks and benchmark our research with the needs of society
  • Embracing the global North and South - we expect research findings from both areas to inform one another
  • Bridging theory and practice - we aim to take our knowledge out into wider world in different ways
  • Linking with teaching - we seek to bring the research we undertake into the classroom to inform, challenge and inspire our students

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