Illustration for CIVICA conference 2022

CIVICA conference explores how social sciences can help face global uncertainties


International security and authoritarianism were key focus amid threats like war, disease and climate change.

How can the social sciences help us face an uncertain world as we grapple with developments like the war in Ukraine, the pandemic and the threat of climate change? At an online conference organised by CIVICA on 15 March, policymakers, researchers and practitioners gathered online to discuss how Europe can face these daunting challenges.

International security and authoritarianism were the central focus of the event. Participants discussed the role of social science universities in a dramatically changing global landscape and ways to work together to make Europe more resilient to 21st century threats.

Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School and Kate Vivian, Acting Vice President for International Affairs, Sciences Po, gave opening remarks.

“We all feel the ripple effects of this war” in Ukraine, said Cornelia Woll. “Today is an opportunity to reflect and also look at the bigger picture: How can universities, and in particular, European social scientists, provide insights and answers in an acute crisis while also taking into account the broader context?”

Participants discussed the possibilities for a broad and diverse set of actors working across disciplines and sectors to provide timely advice on solutions for policymakers – through the multidisciplinary lens of the social sciences.  

Manon Le Blanc, Head of International Cyber Policy, European External Action Service, and Simon Hix, Stein Rokkan Chair in Comparative Politics, European University Institute, gave keynotes.

A roundtable discussion included Loïc Azoulai, Professor of European Law, Sciences Po, Louise Marie Hurel, PhD researcher in Data, Networks and Society, The London School of Economics and Political Science, Marina Henke, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for International Security, Hertie School, and Zsolt Enyedi, Professor of Political Science, Central European University. Xymena Kurowska, Associate Professor of International Relations, Central European University, chaired the discussions.

Written by Ellen Thalman (Hertie School)

Watch the event recording:

CIVICA Conference 2022: Europe and the New Global Challenges