With our expertise, we contribute to analysing and solving issues in society, science and scholarship in the following areas:

University-wide themes

Utrecht University has four strategic research themes and twelve research focus areas, in which academics from different fields of study cooperate on an integrated approach to current issues. Humanities scholars participate in the following themes in particular:

What makes a society open and resilient?

What is the contribution made by institutions – the formal and informal rules of human action – to long-term prosperity, equality and democracy? This research is carried out within the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies.

Growing up to become well-balanced adults

How can young people develop into well-balanced adults in a rapidly-changing society? This research is carried out within the strategic theme Dynamics of Youth.

Towards a sustainable society

How can we make the transition towards a society that is ecologically, economically and socially balanced? This research is carried out within the strategic theme Sustainability.

The cultural and legal foundations of citizenship

Who belongs? Who is protected by the law? Which cultural factors are shaping citizenship in Europe today? This research is carried out within the focus area Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights.

The nature and impact of scientific knowledge

How has the production of scientific knowledge developed over the centuries, and how are the results being disseminated? This research is carried out within the focus area History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities.

Sharing knowledge

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Latest news on research

14 November 2017
Certain animals do apply elements of language, which can teach us something about ourselves, tells Johan Bolhuis.
10 November 2017
This book examines how rural Europe emerged as a key site of local, national and international governance. Co-edited by Liesbeth van de Grift.
30 October 2017
Professor Dr Gloria Wekker, Professor Dr Philomena Essed and Dr Leo Balai together win the Black Achievement 2017 in the category Science.
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