About the SAMKUL programme
Today’s societal development and social change is characterised by global trends and large-scale technological, demographic and cultural changes. We are facing major global social challenges, exemplified through climate change and ecological depletion, social inequality and antagonism, centralization and urbanization, media revolution, international migration and a multitude of religion, ethnicity and culture.
To better equip society to address these and other challenges, there is great need for an expanded knowledge base: A broad interpretation, understanding and explanation of the cultural conditions, or rather cultural prerequisites, underlying societal development. This will generate important new insights and supplement the economic-instrumental and technical-natural science knowledge-bases which today are largely considered to be the valid foundations for decision-making in society.
In the Research Council’s current research strategy it is argued that the cultural prerequisites underlying societal development should become a new national thematic priority area for Norwegian research. As a means to strengthen this research field, a ten-year research programme has been established: Cultural Conditions Underlying Social Change (SAMKUL).
The objective of SAMKUL (2011-2020) will be to generate new knowledge about the cultural dimensions of current social challenges, through interpretation, understanding and explanation of the cultural conditions, or rather prerequisites, for societal development. Thematically the programme will study the cultural prerequisites for todays’ social formation and social change in general through analyses of the interaction between people and their surroundings:
• The natural environment
• The multicultural environment
• The religious environment
• The mediated environment
• The economic environment
• The technological environment
Through new research, networks of researchers and of researchers and relevant users, internationalization, dissemination, conferences and meeting-places, humanistic research will have relevance and be employed in areas of society facing great challenges. The work programme gives further information about the programme’s overall thematic and strategic priorities.
As of October 2011, the overall budget for SAMKUL amounted to 15 million NOK per year. From 2013 the programme will receive the added income of 20-25 million NOK per year, hereby rising the programme’s yearly budget to 35-40 million NOK. The total programme budget (2011-2013) amounts to 305-345 million NOK (per March 2012). It is still desirable to further increase the funding of SAMKUL further along in the programme period.