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Interdisciplinary Research Themes

New Interdisciplinary Research Themes coming August 2024

We’re very excited to welcome our new Interdisciplinary Research Themes: Peaceful, Secure and Empowered Societies & Political Economy Futures Forum (PEFF). Below, each of the themes outlines its objectives. Over the coming weeks and months, you will see opportunities to engage with the work of the IRTs as their activity ramps up.

Peaceful, Secure and Empowered Societies

The world is experiencing the highest levels of violence and insecurity since the end of World War II. Inter- and intra-state armed conflicts, economic collapse and inequalities, climate change, mass displacement, organised crime, disasters, unprecedented technological advancement, and so-called ‘hybrid threats’ such as disinformation have brought the world to a perceived state of ‘permacrisis.’ This denotes an extended period of instability and insecurity, driven by multiple, interconnected, and intractable challenges, amidst a climate of distrust in the societal, political, and legal mechanisms devised to tackle them. Recognising that interdisciplinary research is essential to understanding and responding to today’s multidimensional challenges to peace, security, wellbeing and resilience, the PSES IRT leverages and enhances the world-renowned research excellence of the College of Social Sciences with a constructive approach to break the narratives of crisis: how can our research contribute to building peaceful, secure, and empowered societies at grassroots, local, national and international levels, while allowing change to be understood as a “force for good” (UKRI)? Embracing disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological pluralism, the PSES IRT aligns with the research of over 100 researchers at the University of Glasgow and will function as a hub for activities and outputs for research excellence, skills development, and external engagement.

Political Economy Futures Forum

PEFF is a self-aware community of researchers committed to addressing big, enduring questions about the relationship between the economy and society. These questions include: what are the institutions that make the economy—local, national, and global? How do these institutions work? And how can we ensure they work in society’s interest? PEFF promotes a common project of political economy research and its potential to build democratic, equitable, and sustainable economies and organizations. We will initially organize this work through four thematic clusters: Global Political Economy (Bernhard Reinsberg), Corporate Accountability (Maha Rafi Atal), Public and Community Ownership (Franziska Paul), and Law and Political Economy (Antonio Marzal). The PEFF Research Seminar, to run weekly from September to April, will bring the clusters together into a common forum, convening a consistent group of colleagues to develop world-leading, interdisciplinary political economy scholarship. 
PEFF will also operate grant capture and impact workstreams, developing funding bids and promoting policy engagement by IRT participants. We are committed to flexibility and democratic governance: we strongly encourage participation by graduate students, postdocs, and early career staff, who we hope in succeeding years will propose and initiate new PEFF clusters. 

Interdisciplinary Research Themes

Responding to the world’s most pressing problems, and responding to the strategic drivers in our funding environment, requires respectful and innovative interdisciplinary research. To build critical mass in our interdisciplinary partnerships, we are focusing our research development support on five, social-science led, interdisciplinary themes:

Upcoming events from across the IRTs

For a full update of each theme's activities and areas of focus, visit the relevant theme website above.

Get in Touch

If you would like to get in touch with a theme, or to be added to a mailing list, please contact us using the email address below.


 Click here to be added to the CoSS Interdisciplinary Research mailing list