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

Research groups

Operating within the framework of the research programme Global Development and Social Justice, 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. The four research groups reflect the diversity of research at ISS in terms of research foci and methodological approaches.

Civic Innovation

Co-creating diverse forms of knowledge

More about Civic Innovation
Zimbabwe economic trauma

Development Economics

Transitioning to a higher level of economic and human development

More about Development Economics
Understanding intersections of climate change policies, land grabs and conflict in fragile states - MOSAIC

Political Ecology

Investigating how resource scarcities are created and contested

More about Political Ecology
Boys on road in Somalia

Governance, Law and Social Justice

Does governance help or hinder social justice?

More about Governance, Law and Social Justice

Scientific integrity at ISS

To promote awareness of scientific integrity, all EUR researchers are expected to have signed a Declaration of Integrity. By signing the declaration researchers endorse the principles of scrupulousness, trustworthiness, verifiability, impartiality and independence as formulated in the code of conduct of the Association of Universities (VSNU) in the Netherlands.

For ISS a more elaborate coda was composed for the field of Development Studies, on the basis of discussions amongst academic staff during and after a research ethics workshop held in October 2014. See the declaration of scientific integrity (below) which is signed by all ISS academic staff and PhD researchers.

Students carry out research in the library

Our research values and themes

  • 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

These values are expressed in all our research carried out within four distinct themes:

  • Migration and diversity
  • Social protection and inequality
  • Conflict and peace
  • Environment and climate change