Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Policy review of projects in the area of social, economic and governance aspects of sustainable development

Funded under: FP7-SSH


Social science can be an aid to human understanding before becoming also a tool for policy. Given the pace of socio-economic change, the stresses that this induces for public policy, business and civil society actors, and the wide disparities of habits, beliefs outlooks and expectations across different stakeholder groups and nations of the enlarging EU, the importance of this potential policy contribution of social sciences and humanities research to building social learning dialogue capacity cannot be over-estimated. This document is one component in a cycle of work whose broad objective is to produce a synthesis of policy-relevant results from social science research projects funded by the European Commission in the 5th Framework Research Programme. It addresses social, economic and governance aspects of sustainable development. One way of summing up the sustainability challenge and the research work exami ned in this report is through the "three Ws" formula: "Sustainability of what, why, and for whom?". This formula highlights the necessity for attention to inter-group and intra-generational distribution issues - that is, the analysis of possible incompatibilities between the diverse sustainability concerns expressed by the variety of stakeholders or with reference to the classes of community that are candidates to be sustained. The synthetic discussion of project themes and findings in the report highlights this point. Indeed, absences of societal cohesion and the fragility of 'social capital' appear as critical constraints from a sustainability point of view, perhaps even more critical than technological innovation and economic capital accumulation capacities alone.

Additional information

Authors: M. O'Connor, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE);M. O'Connor, Université de Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Guyancourt (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22093 EN (2007), 53 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: KI-X1-06-080-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN 92-79-02495-7
Record Number: 200910412 / Last updated on: 2009-10-07
Original language: en
Available languages: en