Our global, interconnected present is characterised by new constellations within various realms of knowledge—including culture, policy, economics and society. This calls for more diverse, critical and integrated scientific approaches entailing a re-thinking of relations across domains often approached separately, such as racism/xenophobia and climate change or the emergence of new digital technologies and the exponential growth of knowledge systems at a global level.
GRIP is designed for such re-thinking, both to give the programme greater impact and to provide a more comprehensive grasp of the diversity of scientific research within the field of inequality. Crucially, GRIP will approach research on, with and between the global North and South, thus dealing with inequality on the scale of the global.
A radically interdisciplinary programme
Designed as a radically interdisciplinary programme with an anchor in the social sciences, GRIP also seeks to involve health, data, natural and other scientists, in co-designed processes of knowledge construction. Such multiple sites of co-construction of knowledge (disciplinary and regional) open the way for significant contributions towards achieving the transformative shifts of Agenda 2030 through improved understanding of the interconnections between several dimensions of inequality in different contexts, and better knowledge on how to address inequalities and move towards greater equality.
Inequality as perceived by GRIP is conceived broadly to include six interconnected and key dimensions within global urban contexts, namely economic inequality, social inequality, political inequality, cultural inequality, environmental inequality and knowledge-based inequality.
GRIP aims to engage with these dimensions of inequality in two main ways that complement each other. On the one hand, we will work to understand inequality; that is, GRIP will be centrally guided by questions regarding the fundamental nature, historical legacy and constitution of knowledge about inequality. On the other, GRIP will also need to address inequality; that is, we must understand contestations over inequality, the responses developed by people affected, and the policy tools that aim to redress inequality.
Reflecting its global ambition, GRIP’s notion of inequality is kept very broad. In designing a research programme around inequality from a starting point of the social sciences, we aim to tackle issues as wide-ranging as global questions of data sovereignty, health disparities across the world, and questions of citizenship in the world’s emerging megacities, to name just a few. This means at least two things:
Firstly, GRIP is a research programme that is truly open to all research programmes, research networks and policymakers that would like to collaborate or develop research initiatives.
Secondly, it also means that GRIP – reflecting a shared position of both ISC and UiB – is hardwired to work to “advance science as a global public good”. GRIP will therefore work systematically to generate original research on inequality that will be communicated in various forums and domains—thereby making research on rising inequality count.