Mastering social challenges

In the 21st century, Germany and Europe are confronted with the task of managing major changes influenced by driving forces such as climate change, globalisation, digitisation and demographics.

Menschenmenge auf einem Weg in der Stadt; © thinkstock

Society is changing


On the one hand, our society is characterised by strong cohesion, a great capacity for innovation and a living cultural heritage. What are the factors that hold society - in Germany, in Europe - together, that create an awareness of the past and equip it for the future?

On the other hand, there are radicalisation trends in some sections of society. Religious and political extremism, racism and group-focussed enmity are threatening social harmony and liberal democracy.

These and other challenges require critical consideration and innovative approaches. In the often-controversial discussion, the humanities and social sciences offer orientation and can contribute to objectification. This is because they have a critical understanding and analysis of the underlying social facts, as well as of historical-cultural contexts and developments.

Our world changes – sometimes gradually, sometimes turbulently. The research thus looks into different areas:

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has funded basic research in the humanities and social sciences for over several years, also with the aim of having possible applied uses. To clarify current issues and thus strengthen cohesion, capacity for innovation and cultural heritage, the BMBF supports research in the humanities and social sciences for practical applications as well. Complex challenges require diverse professional perspectives - to this end, the BMBF strengthens interdisciplinary and international research cooperation.