Modern societies are confronted with numerous major challenges, such as social conflict, climate change, public health issues, inequality and unethical behaviors in the private and public sector. Modern societies are built on public institutions, designed to address these and related societal challenges. These institutions are under severe pressure. The trust in and legitimacy of governments are among the most important issues on the societal and political agenda  and improving the performance of governments has been the most prevalent policy goal in the past decades.

Combining and integrating behavioral and institutional insights, approaches and knowledge

In order for institutions to optimally contribute to the formation of open and sustainable societies and to be able to develop solutions for societal challenges, they need to be attuned to the real behaviors of people in society at large. Although most salient policies aim to address human behaviors – ranging from such diverse issues as donor registration, healthy eating, societal integration of refugees, white collar corruption or sustainable consumptive choices – behavioral knowledge has until very recently not been institutionalized in the public sector. [read more]


Logo NWO van Veni, Vidi, Vici
17 July 2019
Dr. Katharine Fortin (SIM) has received a VENI grant from NWO for her research project entitled 'Dangerous Liaisons'.
15 July 2019
How do we distribute water in a fair and sustainable way? Does nature also have the right to water?
The Lion King 2019
12 July 2019
'The Lion King' introduces us to a society where the weak have learned to worship at the feet of the strong.
8 July 2019
Last month '1989 and the West. Western Europe since the End of the Cold War' was published by Routledge.
Wilde dieren, Hermann van der Moolen, 1843 - ca. 1920
1 July 2019
ATHENA is a portal in development in which an enormous amount of information on biodiversity in the Netherlands is compiled.