Vulnerability and resilience of social systems

The social sciences can play a bigger role in solving society’s urgent problems. Government makes too little use of the latest insights of social science research, and all too often it chooses to solve problems by stepping up supervision rather than introducing smarter interventions.

That is the conclusion reached by the Social Sciences Council, part of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, in an advisory report presented to Halbe Zijlstra, Dutch State Secretary for Education, on 11 August 2011.

The report challenges public parties and social scientists to use their talent to promote wellbeing and prosperity in Dutch society. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has taken the next step in fulfilling this aim by producing the 'Social Infrastructure Agenda' (December 2011).  On 26 January 2012, Mr Zijlstra recommended NWO’s 'Social Infrastructure Agenda' to the teams representing the nine key economic sectors, established within the context of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation’s research and innovation policy as set out in its 'Bedrijfslevenbrief' policy memorandum.