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The value of media, from maker to its use

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Law & Crimonology

Punishment & Prevention

The fight against crime and feelings of insecurity among the population has greatly evolved in recent years. Some researchers are referring to a more punitive society or a highly-safety-focused society. Within this societal context, the Crime & Society (CriS) research group analyses crime with particular attention going out to social inequality, culture and human rights. It does so setting out from three different topics or areas of research: (1) penology, (2) youth protection, (3) police, prevention and safety, and (4) crime and the city. 

Societal challenges

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Science and innovation constantly changes our society. If this is making the world a better place, is for some still to be questioned, one thing is certain though: life is constantly changing. The researchers in this cluster contemplate over the political, economic, demographic and media changes of the 21ste century: the democracy is under pressure, the importance of the social-capital, fast new media, ageing and overpopulation.

Society and democracy

Democracy in Europe

Democracy as we know it today in essence is a representative democracy. Through the intermediary of elections and with the help of political parties, citizens of national states are able to decide who will rule over them. Today, the smooth running of this form of democratic rule is often seen to be challenged. Numerous changes in European politics and European society have brought pressure to bear on the democratic dialogue between citizens and the world of politics.

How to Become a better Person?

Published in 1993, the ground-breaking tome ‘Making Democracy Work’ by American political scientist Robert Putnam suggests that people who are actively engaged in civic culture or non-profit organisations – and who have a higher ‘social capital’ – have greater confidence in other people, are less individualistic, have a more positive stance towards immigrants, et cetera. In Putnam’s interpretation these positive outcomes are the result of social engagement: in other words, and according to Putnam at least, civic culture makes you, “a better person”.

Relations between organisations, employees and volunteers in non-profit organisations

Research into the funding and research into the management of non-profit organisations (NPOs) tend to be mostly segregated, unlike the situation for organisations that do seek to make a profit. VUB researchers from the field of applied economics (ES Faculty) and organisational psychology (PE Faculty) are looking to change this. Setting out from insights from the fields of economics, management science and psychology they devised an integrated theory on the functioning of NPOs and their volunteer/paid staff, both at management and employee level.

Social impact of sport

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Socially inclusive ICT based adult learning

Although participation in adult education is increasing in Belgium, it is still below the European average. In 2010 only 3.1% of low-educated Belgian adults participated in adult education. The EU has set a 2020 target for average participation in lifelong learning at 15% for adults aged 25-64. The challenge is therefore to provide opportunities of adult education, especially for disadvantaged groups, e.g.

Demography and gender

Demographic Challenges of the 21st Century

The changes in the make-up of our population, as a result of ageing and migration, are hot topics in the media and the world of politics. Rightly so, as there is hardly a policy area that is not being impacted by demographic change. But in terms of rising life expectancy, health, fertility and migration, how are we doing compared with Europe and the rest of the world? Which differences are seen to exist in this country, both at a regional level and between the various strata of the population? And how can this understanding be used to underpin a forward-looking and sustainable policy?

Politics, in the name of the people?!

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Research at the VUB

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