World Social Science Report 2010

World Social Science Report 2010

(source: International Social Science Council (UNESCO), 2010)

In 1999, UNESCO published the first World Social Science Report. Ten years later, UNESCO asked the International Social Science Council (ISSC) to prepare this second edition, which is published in 2010. The main goal of this new Report is to present an overview of the social sciences in the different areas of the world.

Today’s fast-changing global reality presents new challenges to social sciences, and this Report addresses their capacity to respond to them. Since the first Report, social science has expanded fast and become globalized. Social sciences are now produced and taught almost everywhere in the world. Yet their production, their reach and their use are still marked by disparities and fragmentation. This publication analyses these divides and the extent to which they undermine the ability to address challenges which have themselves become global. It takes stock of worldwide developments in social science over the first decade of the twenty-first century and focuses on the knowledge divides that affect them.

Growth or crisis for the social sciences? At the beginning of the twenty-first century, social sciences are taught in most if not all universities.The number of social science students, lecturers, professors and researchers has increased rapidly, as has the number of books and articles produced indifferent languages. As a result of this production, a large number of social scientists work not only as scholars and researchers, but also as experts in national public administrations; they advise their governments and sometimes steer the development of their economies. Advances in information technology allow social scientists to communicate more often and more quickly, among themselves as well as with civil society. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, social sciences expertise remains in high demand frompolicy-makers, media and the public. Social scientists have knowledge and skills that are needed to identify, analyse and decipher structures and changes in society, as well as the seeds of future change. Much is expected from social sciences knowledge and expertise when seeking to solve challenges such as, to name just a few,poverty, climate change and the food crisis. […]

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