Social Challenges and Sustainable Development

Jobs, migration, integration, work-related burn-out, same-sex marriages, patchwork families, surrogate mothers, the moralisation of capitalism, the protection of minorities, urban mobility, social networks, access to education and healthcare, etc. - the challenges facing our societies are countless and the subject of a lot of work done by our research teams.

Over the years, the ULB has built up considerable expertise in the fields of integration and discrimination, with our researchers trying, for example, to better understand - in view of combating them - the causes and mechanisms of discrimination, whether at school or at work, whether ethnic, social, religious or sexual. There are special focuses on schools, work, finding a job, ergonomics, stress management, as well as the evolution of certain occupations and skills in the face of technological developments. These efforts also go hand-in-hand with research in the teaching field.

This research includes more specific studies into issues facing cities, and Brussels in particular, and covers such questions as demographics, urban redevelopment, mobility, police and security, public health, urban architecture, etc.

A number of multidisciplinary studies similarly address issues involving gender and minorities - studies which also involve questioning universities themselves and the practices exercised there. Sustainable development and, more generally, environmental issues, are the subject of specific research at the ULB, often conducted in a multidisciplinary spirit linking up humanities with other more "technical" disciplines.

Finally, our research teams are working on a series of ethical and bioethical issues: how to accompany the dying? Should research on embryos be allowed? Do values have a place in a company? How should we go about managing risks (health and nuclear risks, terrorism, etc.) and applying the "principle of precaution"?

Main research projects (since 2010)

Actions de recherche concertée, ARC

European projects (7th Framework programme, > 200 Keuros)

  • TIRAMISU: Toolbox Implementation for Removal of Anti-personnel Mines, Submunitions and UXO

  • EURISLAM: Finding a Place for Islam in Europe: Cultural Interactions between Muslim Immigrants and Receiving Societies

Regional projects (> 200 Keuros)

  • Conférence permanente du développement territorial (Région wallonne)

  • Mobilité sociale et ségrégation socio-spatiale à Bruxelles. Une analyse qualitative longitudinale des transitions entre enseignement secondaire et postsecondaire (Région Bruxelles-Capitale)

Projects supported by the FNRS (> 200 k€)

  • Les pénuries de main d'œuvre comme constructions sociales. Contribution à l'analyse sociologique de la dynamique des marchés du travail

Other (> 200 k€)

  • Smart City Block: Rénovation des quartiers

European programmes for the mobility of researchers (since 2008)

ITN Marie Curie

  • The changing nature of employment in Europe in the context of challenges, threats and opportunities for employees and employers

ERC Grants

  • Dirk Jacobs, starting grant 2011: Opportunities for migrant youth in educational systems