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CONTENT - Issue 1 | October 2004

Spreading research on social sciences and humanities (SSH)
Unity in diversity - the call sign of the European Union - raises its own issues as we try to balance the centrifugal and centripetal forces of the European social model. EU-funded research on social sciences and humanities is a dynamic field of inquiry, asking questions such as: How can men and women combine private and professional life? How can we reconcile economic growth, social cohesion and cultural diversity? Why do the young vote less? Research is now providing answers that must be shared with a wider public to inform discussion and provide support for decision-making.

Theme of this issue
Future framework for SSH research in Europe
In a Communication published in June 2004, the European Commission sets out its vision for future EU research policy, including the Seventh Framework Programme. The Commission highlights six major challenges for European research, including stimulating European competition in basic research and better coordination of national research programmes. The Communication is the first step in a broad consultation process among stakeholders, and the social sciences and humanities research community will be invited to take part in this debate.

Successful proposals and websites - check out
Results from the first call for proposals for Priority 7 - Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society - are in; and will be followed by a "kick-off" meeting for all the successful project coordinators. And a new social science research website on the Europa server has just been launched - aimed at a wider public and emphasising dialogue between science and the citizen. The Citizens website on CORDIS provides a wealth of information of interest to the research community.

Forthcoming Calls
Forthcoming calls in Priority 7 - Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society

News from EU research projects on SSH
Project news' flash - Responses to social risk
Through analysing policy developments in European welfare systems over the last 15 years, the WRAMSOC project distinguishes old and new forms of social risk and explains the different political and process responses that welfare states take to them. The project considers such responses in their political and historical contexts, and the extent of EU involvement in each.

The ERA: 'Defragmenting' Europe

In order to participate fully in the ERA , SSH, more than other scientific disciplines, must address the fragmentation that arises from differing national approaches and traditions. The process of European integration is a rich field of opportunity for social science researchers to contribute to the development of Europe. A strategic approach to increase coherence within SSH across Europe is being adopted by the research funders and the wider stakeholder group.


Connecting research and policy
A systematic review of EU research relevant to 21 policy domains has produced its first reports, on 'gender equality' and 'innovation and research policy'. Prepared by recognised independent researchers, these review reports target new and emerging policy directions, investigating how existing research results can contribute to them, and identifying future research needs to support policy-making.


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