New ideas in the social sciences
This fund encourages scholarship on new and enduring questions. The selected projects are ones that will result in the advancement of a discipline through the development of new directions, working groups, conferences, technologies, or expanded access to research resources, or lead to a major piece of scholarly work.
Resilience: A psychological and ecological history
Katja Guenther(link is external), associate professor of history, will explore the concept of resilience, which has emerged over the last few decades as one of the most prized traits of the modern age, the key to the future success of our businesses, financial systems, cities, the environment, and even humanity. Guenther will trace the history of the concept across a range of disciplines ranging from psychology to ecology while incorporating environmental humanities, the history of science and the study of systems. In examining the way resilience has been used in the past, she will trace its ethical ramifications, its translations into policy, and its future implications.
Social histories: Applying statistical methods to understand the past
Leonard Wantchekon(link is external), professor of politics and international affairs, will lead a team of undergraduate and graduate students from Princeton University as well as researchers from the African School of Economics and the Universidad de los Andes to explore how to rigorously collect individual-level historical data for studies of long-term impacts of historical events. Through studies of precolonial and colonial societies in Africa and the Americas, Wantchekon will develop a novel approach that combines econometrics and advanced statistical methods with more traditional historical and social research techniques to pioneer the emerging field of historical applied microeconometrics.