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UNESCO World Social Science Report
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World Social Science Report
also available at
UNESCO Publishing and Elsevier


ISBN 92-3-103602-5 (UNESCO)
ISBN 2-84299-118-4 (Elsevier)
© UNESCO 1999


Also available in French, Russian and Chinese


General description

The twentieth century has seen extraordinary advances in the social sciences. They have taken place at the level of theoretical constructs, but also at the levels of methodology and of data generation and management. The social sciences can now be regarded as comprising a fabric of concepts and testable theories, rapidly expanding pools of records and information, well-established rules of procedure, and world-wide networks of supporting institutions.

With the turn of the century, the time is ripe to take stock of the social sciences as they are, and to look forward to their continuing development in the coming decades. This, essentially, is the goal of UNESCO's World Social Science Report. The first issue appeared in June 1999 and was presented at the World Conference on Science that same month. Subsequent issues will appear every two years.

The World Social Science Report benefits from the experience of reports already created by UNESCO in other areas, in particular, the World Education Report and the World Science Report. It is in part descriptive, giving facts and figures on the production and transmission of the social sciences throughout the world; in part problem-oriented, examining their application to social problems of the world today; and in part; and in part reflective, with essays discussing general perspectives and regional concerns.

The World Social Science Report was prepared under the leadership of Co-Editors Ali Kazancigil and David Makinson in the Sector of Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO. A Scientific Advisory Board, made up of eminent social scientists from all over the world, helped plan the structure of the Report and select authors. UNESCO’s field offices in different parts of the world provided valuable input material for regional overviews. The International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), also provided essential materials.

Table of contents

Foreword by the Director-General of UNESCO

Preface by the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences

Introduction by the Co-Editors

A Global Picture

1.1 Retrospect and Prospect

The twentieth century – the century of the social sciences? Peter Wagner

    Box : Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme, Ali Kazancigil
    Box : Duverger's Law of party systems, Theodore J.Lowi
Social sciences in the twenty-first century, Immanuel Wallerstein
    Box: Humans and nature in the social sciences, from the Gulbenkian Report
    Box: Restructuring social science institutions, from the Gulbenkian Report
History as a social science : a view from the south, Barun De

1.2 Infrastructures and Situations

The social sciences in OECD countries, Jun Oba

Some salient trends in social science education and employment, Nadia Auriat

The recovery of Western European social sciences since 1945, Guido Martinotti

The social sciences in Central and Eastern Europe

    Box: Changing Strategies in Social Science Education in the Slovak Republic, Eva Laiferova and Gabriela Lubelcová
    Box: An Application of Developmental Psychology, Cigdem Kagitçibasi
    Box: Political Science and the Emergence of Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, Hans-Dieter Klingemann and Christian Welzel
The social sciences in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Victor Nemchinov

The social sciences in Latin America

National social science systems in Latin America, Hebe Vessuri

    Box: Specific evaluation criteria of the Social Science and Humanities Commission of the SNI, Mexico
The social sciences in sub-Saharan Africa
    Box : Kinds of institution for social science research in Africa, Tade Akin Aina
    Box : Publishing African social science, Tade Akin Aina
    Box : Donor agencies for social science in Africa, Tade Akin Aina
    Box : CODESRIA, UNESCO Dakar Office
    Box : OSSREA
    Box : SAUSSC, Issac Lamba
Agendas and funding for population studies in Africa, Orieji Chimere-Dan

The social sciences in North Africa and the Middle East

The social sciences in East Asia

The social sciences in Southern Asia

The social sciences in the Pacific

1.3 Data and its Utilization

Data and statistics: empirical bases for the social sciences, Richard C. Rockwell

The use of qualitative empirical materials in the social sciences, Norman K. Denzin

Social science information and documentation, Hans-Christoph Hobohm

A user's guide to social science sources and sites on the Web, Craig McKie

Transnational and cross-national social science research, Else Øyen

1.4 The Professional Sphere

Research-policy linkages: how much influence does social science research have? Carol H. Weiss

    Box : Demography and financing retirement, Jean-Claude Chesnais
    Box: The University as a Partner in Development, Ian McAllister
Training the social scientist: what are the indispensable skills and tools? Mala Singh and Charles Crothers

Towards the ethical practice of social science, Elvi Whittaker

The gender dimension in the social sciences, Fanny M. Cheung

Communicating social science, Robyn Williams

Box : The impact of closure : the Australian National University

Issues and Applications

2.1 Science and Technology in Society

The social implications of information and communication technologies, Manuel Castells

Science, technology and the market, Dominique Foray

Science and democracy, Piotr Sztompka

    Box: The agenda-setting role of mass communication, Maxwell E. McCombs
    Box : Survey research and the growth of democracy, Seymour Martin Lipset, Robert M.Worcester, Frederick C.Turner
2.2 Dimensions of Development

State and market : towards a new synthesis for the twenty-first century, Robert Boyer

    Box : Vulnerability of marginalised populations, Hans-Georg Bohle
The delicate balance between economic and social policies, Luis Maira
    Box : Contextual Poverty, CROP
Globalisation and the nation, Annabelle Sreberny
    Box: The social sciences in an era of globalisation, Fred Riggs

2.3 Social Science Approaches to Environment

Global environmental change : challenges for the social sciences, Jill Jäger

    Box: The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change
    Box: Land-use and land-cover change
Environment and development, Rodney White
    Box: The social sciences, disasters and relief aid, Ian McAllister

2.4 The Behavioural Sciences and their Applications

Cognitive science: from computers to anthills as models of human thought, Peter Gärdenfors

    Box : Social and psychological consequences of neuroscience applications, Mark Rosenzweig
Theoretical aspects of the evolution of human social behaviour, Marcus Feldman and Kenichi Aoki
    Box: Implications of complexity studies for social sciences, from the Gulbenkian Report
The social dimensions of public health, Clyde Hertzman

How to Order (44,97 Euros)

The World Social Science Report is co-published by UNESCO Publishing and Elsevier France. For the USA, Elsevier France has exclusive sales rights. For the rest of the world, purchase may be made from either publisher.

From UNESCO Publishing

    In Paris itself, the Report may be purchased at the UNESCO Bookshop, 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris .

    In other countries, orders may be placed with the local UNESCO Publishing distributors.

    Orders may also be made directly to UNESCO Publishing in Paris. Address:

    Website: http://upo.unesco.org/
    E-mail: publishing.promotion@unesco.org
    Post: UNESCO Publishing, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France
    Fax: +33 1 45 68 57 37

From Elsevier France

The Chinese and Russian editions are to be purchased directly from the respective publishers as follows:

Chinese edition
Chinese Academy of Sciences
5 Jiangnomennei Dajie
Beijing 100732
People's Republic of China

Russian edition
Magister Press
7/15 Ostozhenka Street, Office 16
119034 Moscow
Russian Federation

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