This report, a new biennal publication, focuses on the contributions that the social sciences have been able to make, singly or collectively, to understanding and to meeting some of the crucial problems of the world.
The report begins by providing a much-awaited review of the place of the social sciences on a world scale. What has been their historical trajectory over the twentieth century, and what are their prospects for the coming decades? How are the social sciences currently organized, financed and practised in different parts of the world - East and West, developed and developing? Where do the data come from, and how are they processed, analysed and transmitted? How does social science research relate to policy, politics, ethics, and the media?
The second part of the report takes up certain major issues facing the world, asking what solutions the social sciences have been able to bring. What are the social implications of the onrush of computer technology and the life sciences? What light can be cast by economics, political science and sociology on the stakes of development? How are the social sciences involved in a comprehensive approach to the environment? What can be learnt about the deeper bases of human behaviour from cognitive and evolutionary sciences?
By sharing a wealth of information and a variety of informed perspectives, the World Social Science Report provides a unique view on the present state and future potential of the social sciences.