Essay Forums

The SSRC has produced a number of online forums providing social science perspectives on topical issues. The typical forum consists of 10-12 edited essays that SSRC programs have commissioned from individuals in their networks with specialized knowledge. A number of these forums have become the basis for subsequent work by the Council. For instance, our After September 11 forum developed into a five-book series with the New Press. The Privatization of Risk forum developed into a MacArthur-funded working group that commissioned six volumes for a joint Columbia University Press/SSRC series on the subject. And our Understanding Katrina forum developed into the SSRC Katrina Task Force that secured major funding for its work and is now in the process of producing a series of books from its findings.

More recent forums cover such topics as change in Cuba, the Fourth Wave (gender and HIV/AIDS), and the controversy surrounding the Department of Defense's Minerva initiative.


Possible Futures
November - A collaborative effort to deepen our knowledge of current crises and future possibilities.
10 Years after September 11
September - In the days immediately following September 11, 2001, the Council invited a wide range of leading social scientists from around the world to write short essays for an online forum, After September 11. A decade later, contributors to the original forum were asked to reflect on what they wrote and to explore what has changed and what remains the same since those harrowing times.


Haiti, Now and Next
January - The SSRC has asked people we believe are deeply reflective about the situation in Haiti to share their thoughts about the present moment and its relationship to humanitarian assistance and transitions to development. This collection of postings is the result of that effort.
Media Piracy in Emerging Economies
Research and analysis of digital convergence and cultural production.


Public Sphere Forum
August - This essay forum strives to build an integrative discussion for what is a fragmented interdisciplinary field of study on the public sphere.

Change in Cuba
February - Reflecting on the implications of Fidel Castro's withdrawal from the presidency in early 2008.


The Minerva Controversy
October - Addressing the questions raised by the Department of Defense's Project Minerva and the controversy it has sparked in academic quarters.

Making Communications Research Matter
October - Advancing dialogue about the relationship between research and policymaking in the field of media and communications.

Tributes to Charles Tilly
May - Paying tribute to leading sociologist and Hirschman Prize winner Charles Tilly following his death in April 2008.


Pakistan in Crisis
December - Responding to the mounting crisis in Pakistan in late 2007, culminating in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
The Religious Engagements of American Undergraduates
April - Analyzing the changing landscape of religious affiliations on America's college campuses.
Crisis in the Horn of Africa
February - Delving beneath the news headlines into the complexities of the social and political crises afflicting this troubled African region.


How Genocides End
December - Analyzing the various ways in which genocides have ended, including both case studies as well as comparative and theoretical analyses.
Border Battles: The U.S. Immigration Debates
July - Probing the key underlying issues in the heated debate over immigration in the United States.
The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Regional Perspectives
July - Addressing the regional consequences of the impasse in six-party talks and the continued North Korean production of fissile material.
Is Race "Real"?
June - Providing various disciplinary and analytic perspectives on the subject of race and genomics.
The Privatization of Risk
June - Investigating the distributive consequences of the policy shift toward limiting public protections and privatizing risk.
Understanding Katrina: Perspectives from the Social Sciences
June - Exposing the underlying issues--political, social, and economic--made apparent by the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina.
Youth Activism
June - Developing new information and approaches to young people's involvement in political and social issues by looking at 1) transnational global justice movements and 2) activism and civic engagement among youth of color.


Riots in France
December - Bringing the perspectives and knowledge of social scientists to bear on the social unrest that broke out in the suburbs of Paris in late 2005.


After September 11
November - Bringing theoretical and empirical knowledge to bear on the events of Sept. 11, their precursors, and what comes after.