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What future for the European social sciences and humanities?

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This article aims to contribute to the literature on sociology of the social sciences, or, in a broader context, to the sociology of knowledge in the tradition of Karl Mannheim. Its main argument is that the future of the social sciences and the humanities depends on two interrelated dimensions: the development of the disciplinary state of the art and openness towards other disciplines, stakeholders and the society at large. Social sciences and the humanities have an important mission in the formation of the knowledge economy and society and evidence-based politics. However, there are discrepancies between the potential importance of social science knowledge and the comparatively low attention they receive from politics, other research communities and the public as a whole. How can the social sciences and the humanities better address the needs of society? This is the key question that will decide their future.

Keywords: European Research Area; humanities; research policy; social science

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences (ICCR), Vienna, Austria

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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