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AMCIS Research

The Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies (AMCIS) runs the Research Priority Area Institutions and Inequality (INSTINE) at the University of Amsterdam.

The INSTINE research programme has two premises:

  1. institutions matter for individual lives and the inequalities produced, and
  2. they originate somewhere and are shaped by social and political agency.

We study how institutions affect inequalities in political participation and decision-making, life courses, educational and occupational careers, and well-being.

Research on the impact of institutions is increasingly interdisciplinary, with political science, sociology, economics and education as core fields. Successful interdisciplinary projects have been set up based on NWO and European funding (FP6, FP7, two ERC Starting grants). Nevertheless, whereas most of the current INSTINE research focuses on the impact of institutions, we will also focus on how institutions are affected by inequalities.

Research lines

In each of the three research lines of INSTINE described below, both premises are central.  INSTINE is directly related to several funding schemes, in particular the European Commission’s Horizon2020 and the human capital agendas in the Dutch “Top-sectoren” through NWO. Two of the five challenges of Horizon2020 are directly related to INSTINE, “Health, Demographic Change, and Wellbeing”, and “Inclusive, Innovative and Secure Societies”.  Importantly, in Horizon2020 both institutional effects (how do institutions affect the life courses of European citizens?) and institutionalization processes (e.g. which policies need to be implemented to promote inclusive and secure societies with healthy, active and well-educated citizens?) are addressed.

Noteworthy is also the League of European Research Universities’ vision on Horizon2020, where longitudinal life course data are propagated to study female labour force participation, family networks, and economic inequalities – issues on which INSTINE researchers are key international players.

It is our ambition to be a core European partner in Horizon2020, and our past and current involvement in large European research networks contributes to the realization of this ambition.  

Thematic Lines