Thematic Research Funding in the European Union: What is Expected from Social Scientific Knowledge-making?

Rafael Y. Schögler, Thomas König


This article looks at how the European Union’s research funding invests in, and inevitably shapes, fields of knowledge making. It does so by looking at three levels: what is “SSH” (social sciences and humanities or socio-economic sciences and humanities) constructed as an acronym label, how does the EU research framework programme (FP) work and how is SSH broken down and shaped in these research funding programmes up to the project level. The paper argues that the relationship of SSH and the EU research programmes is ambiguous. On the one hand it forms the largest targeted funding programme for these fields, brings together researchers throughout Europe and produces a sense of “belonging” to a larger community. On the other the underlying policy aims and the marginal position of the SSH labelled programme within larger structures construct the SSH as a residual category.

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