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Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development
Bringing sustainability science forward


The research theme of Development, Security, and Justice (DSJ) explores the complex interplay between economic, political, and social development, security, and justice both in the national and international sphere.

This theme is of critical importance to scholars, policymakers, and practitioners alike, as it seeks to address the challenges and opportunities that arise from efforts to promote inclusive, sustainable, and equitable development while simultaneously ensuring security and justice at all levels of society.

At its core, this research theme examines and critically reflects on how development, security, and justice are key for the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The development research line will examine how to improve the well-being and quality of life of individuals and communities. We stimulate research on various topics, including but not limited to poverty reduction, access to basic services (e.g., education, healthcare, water, and sanitation), financial inclusion, equality as well as trade and investment, resource management, and the cultural practices that are interconnected with international markets.

The security research line will investigate the conditions necessary for protecting individuals, groups and societies from various threats posing challenges to human and collective security. Research covers various aspects of human security, such as poverty (development), climate change (see also the theme Risk, Crises & Resilience), and crime (justice), and peace promotion, in relation to terrorism, cyber threats, conflict resolution and peacekeeping.

The justice research line will study the role of rules and regulations that are relevant to safeguard the achievement of sustainable and just societies with equal opportunities for all. This includes fundamental rights and judicial protection, as well as corruption, transnational organised crime and the responses to those by law enforcement, and takes into account the interactions between national, European and global norms and the role of regional and global institutions.

Since development, security and justice are deeply interconnected, we investigate how they can be mutually reinforcing or mutually inhibiting. In particular, we will consider questions such as how economic development can contribute to or undermine security and justice outcomes, how security policies can impact development trajectories, and how justice systems can enhance or impede both development and security goals. We will be analysing the role of political, cultural and economic inequalities in underdevelopment, insecurity and injustice.

The research theme DSJ encourages an interdisciplinary dialogue to recognize and prevent threats to sustainable development, while also examining the role that various actors, including states, international organisations, civil society groups, and private sector actors, play in various regional contexts. This is done encouraging critical reflections on understandings of development, security and justice, as well as engaging with methodological pluralism, ranging from ethnographic methods to data science tools.

The aim of this theme is to enhance knowledge in the areas of development, security and justice. Together with societal organisations, we intend to work toward establishing inclusive patterns of development as a way to build prosperous, equitable and sustainable societies.

Contact the theme-director: Francesco Giumelli:

T: 050 36 39685 (Office)

E-mail: f.giumelli

Last modified:02 November 2023 1.18 p.m.
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