Mastering social challenges

Our society and Europe are drifting apart. These and other challenges require critical consideration and innovative approaches.

Menschenmenge auf einem Weg in der Stadt; © thinkstock

Society is changing


The world changes – sometimes gradually, sometimes turbulently. Much of what was unthinkable ten years ago is now reality: Religious and political extremism are threatening social harmony and liberal democracy.

Important prerequisites for meeting these challenges include:

  • strong social cohesion,
  • a high capacity for social innovation and
  • a living cultural heritage.

But it is precisely these questions of social cohesion, social innovation and cultural heritage that are frequently the subject of controversial discussion. Often without the necessary knowledge base. The humanities and social sciences contribute to objectivity and provide orientation. This is because they have a critical understanding and analysis of the underlying social facts, as well as of historical-cultural contexts and developments.

For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports basic research in the humanities and social sciences, which generally has a research timetable of several years, including the possibility of applied uses. In order to strengthen cohesion, innovation and cultural heritage, the BMBF also supports research in the humanities and social sciences, particularly for practical applications. Since complex challenges require equally diverse professional perspectives, interdisciplinary and international research cooperation is also being comprehensively strengthened.