7 Societal security and social cohesion in a globalised world
The Government aspires to create a Norway that is safe and secure for all. This will require insight into the components of secure, well-functioning societies. There will also be a need for up-to-date knowledge about the national and global change processes Norway is facing.
Questions relating to social cohesion and identity are an important aspect of the creation of an inclusive society. Measures to enhance cohesion and societal security will require an interdisciplinary approach in research and education, with input from the humanities and social sciences, legal science, technical disciplines, and economics and business administration. In a time of widening gaps and growing polarisation of society, there is also a need for knowledge about how the media, history, cultural sphere and volunteer sector help to build social cohesion and the role they play in democracy, community fellowship, integration and trust.
The rapid pace of technological development affects Norway as a society and Norwegians as individuals. It creates vast opportunities, but also entails new and complex challenges.
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, uncertainty has risen widely in many parts of the world, with mounting tendencies toward populism and protectionism. In Europe, Brexit is putting a strain on the cooperative relationships established in economic, political and legal areas within the EU and EEA. Globalisation, technological development, economic cooperation and migration all hold great potential, but may at the same time lead to uncertainty and a risk of serious incidents and diminished sustainability, effectiveness and legitimacy in society. There is a need for knowledge about various threats to societal security, including political development trends, serious natural disasters, global health threats, deficiencies in the energy or food supply or intentional acts such as terrorism, sabotage and crime. This knowledge will also be instrumental in achieving more of the Sustainable Development Goals, for example through research to improve food security and development of new vaccines and medicines against infectious diseases.
The Government will:
work to establish a reliable, up-to-date knowledge base on factors of importance for social cohesion and stability and a safe, secure society;
strengthen research activities and awareness in relevant educational programmes on potential negative impacts and vulnerability in connection with increased technology use and digitalisation;
prioritise research on how to protect society against both man-made and natural threats;
strengthen research on the social and cultural changes that occur as a result of rapid technological development.