European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
The Social Sciences and Humanities comprise a range of scientific disciplines examining the relations between humans in their societal contexts. While the Humanities deal particularly with history, culture and various forms of human behaviour, Social Sciences tend to focus on the social interactions of individual human beings and groups. They address questions such as: How do people live and work together in contemporary societies? Why do individuals organise themselves into communities and want to share the same future? What do Europeans think about globalisation and how do they react to it? Why and how do citizens engage in or abstain from electoral and other forms of political participation? Addressing such far-reaching questions, the Social Sciences and Humanities play a critical role in anticipating and accompanying the evolution of societies, while satisfying humanity’s deep-rooted interest in reflecting on life. Consecutive European Union Framework Programmes for Research have acknowledged the significance of Social Sciences and Humanities research and have supported it at EU level over the past decades. Horizon 2020 recognises Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) as an ensemble of separate disciplines and highlights their particularly high aptitude to fruitfully collaborate with other disciplines in tackling major societal challenges.