The Department investigates socio-economic change at the global and local level. It also looks at institutional environment and selected social problems in Poland. Our research focuses on current processes of change in a mid-term perspective and not on historical analysis. We look at two types of processes: continuous trends linked to the post-1989 systemic transformation on the one hand and emerging processes related to global phenomena on the other.
Our research is multidisciplinary. We use quantitative, qualitative and experimental techniques. We draw mainly on theories and methodologies used in sociology and political science but we also rely on economics, social policy and other disciplines.
We analyze in parallel:
- objective processes and social phenomena with particular focus on their institutional dimension;
- perceptions of these processes and social phenomena by different social groups, ranging from political elites to those socially, materially and educationally excluded;
- specificity of behaviour and strategies of individuals and social groups. In addition to conducting basic research we actively search for ways to eliminate socially and economically negative consequences of phenomena under study as well as ways to enhance their positive effects.
The Department also conducts research on not-for-profit organizations/ third sector, especially foundations, associations, cooperatives, as well as social economy and social enterprises. Research focus is on economic and social resources of these entities, their relations with the public sector and their participation in the formulation of public policies and provision of public services.
Our scholars carry out interdisciplinary research while drawing on sociology, political science, social policy and pedagogy and using both quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques.
We aim at systematic analysis of dynamics and sources of the non-for-profit organizations’ funding as well as at comparative analysis of their role in the institutional system of the state. The Department cooperates with European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (EURICSE), Warsaw University (Institute of Social Policy) and Central Statistical Office of Poland. It has carried out research for European Commission, Ministry of Family, Employment and Social Policy as well as for Federation for Educational Initiatives.