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.

ISS research highlights

Show of hands during conference at ISS

Conferences and seminars

Conferences, seminars and public debates hosted by ISS

Conferences and seminars >>>
Murat Arsel

Inaugural lecture Professor Murat Arsel

Can the fight against climate change create a common front between the rich and the poor?

Climate change and social class

ISS Working Papers series

A forum for work in progress by ISS researchers

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Our research values

  • committed to a more just social order at a global scale, built on notions of distributive and procedural justice
  • making a contribution to capacity development
  • and building awareness that power relations have produced the very differences in capacities among the privileged and the disadvantaged
  • through doing research with societal relevance, not just about people, but with and for people

Research themes

All our research falls under one of our four themes. These themes integrate research efforts and address highly topical societal issues.

Buldozers widening the river in Jakarta, Indonesia. This governmental flood intervention project entailed clearance of the riverbanks which stirred protest among poor riverbank settlers as they were evicted.

Conflict and Peace research theme

Why and how conflicts occur and how to achieve peace

Conflict and peace research

Social Protection and Inequality research theme

Reducing poverty and vulnerability

Social protection and inequality research
Melting ice pack - climate change

Environment and Climate Change research theme

Conserving natural resources for sustainable development

Environment and climate change research

Migration and Diversity research theme

The transformations of national societies and global society

Migration and diversity research

Research groups

Operating within the framework of the research programme,  and contributing to the overall research objectives of the institute, four research groups bring together senior academic staff, post-docs and PhD researchers.

The four research groups mobilize the intellectual capital that is present at the institute for research activities that are undertaken by staff within or across the groups, depending on the nature of the research topic at hand. They reflect the diversity of research at ISS in terms of research foci and methodological approaches.