As the EU expands, our ability to integrate diverse cultures without overt 'cultural engineering' or suppressing cultural diversity will determine our success in finding peaceful solutions to problems of convergence. 'Convergence', in this sense, is the process of harmonizing local administrative and political institutions with the principles of sound governance established for the Community as a whole.
Convergence invariably creates conflicts of interest on national, regional and local scales and the peaceful enlargement of the EU is probably the biggest challenge Europe has faced since the end of WWII. Investment in cultural research is clearly necessary, not least because the integrative challenges we face now will soon be dwarfed by those of economic globalization. Any general lessons we can learn about cultural ecodynamics will obviously be of strategic significance later in the century. Innovation involves work between epistemic communities that may bring physical, life and human scientists into contact with each other and stakeholder communities.
It is hampered by clashes about whether boundary judgments - the definitions of systems and problems - are universal and real or expedient and socially constructed. ISBP will avoid extreme positions and explore ways of managing the tension between these ideas in integrative research. At one end of the spectrum we will study issues in cultural and natural resource management to understand how negotiating new institutional and epistemic boundaries can reduce tension between antagonized stakeholder communities and promote social cohesion.
At the other, we will explore the ways of characterizing problems in natural science using heuristic data-mining methods to search for boundary judgments that help make problems tractable. We will study water management, asylum and immigration, environmental impact assessment and career structure in integrative research among other topics.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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