In this project we focus on socio-economic phenomena, primarily in relation to schools and education, the labour market, taxes and benefits, poverty and inequality, population ageing, public finances and behavioural matters. Thanks to the involvement of a variety of institutes and organizations, findings and approaches from related fields including sociology, psychology, law, ethics and operations research, including evaluation of the impact of public policy regulations, are incorporated into the research and published findings. The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with some extremely hot topics, which will be given particular attention with the aim of disseminating knowledge and helping to mitigate the negative impacts of the expected post-pandemic economic crisis on the Czech society. A range of researchers from many different disciplines will be involved, from the Academy of Sciences, Czech universities and institutions abroad.
One prominent area of our research will focus on ethics and responsibility. Modern technologies mean that the traditional aspects of our personal responsibility are put to new tests. In traditional ethical teaching, responsibility is a matter for us as individuals: we are responsible for our own actions and may bear the consequences of our own behaviour. During the 20th century, however, we were prompted to ask whether in a certain sense animals might also be responsible subjects, and nowadays that boundary is extending again, this time beyond living beings to include new autonomous technological systems. Scientific and technological development make it necessary for us to expand our concept of responsible agents – so that even robots and other autonomous machines might be seen as independently responsible. The project will also investigate an entirely new form of responsibility – people’s responsibility for the environment and for future generations.
Another significant topic we will look at is the development of the housing market and trends that are currently worsening access to housing for young people in the Czech Republic’s main urban centres. Working together with the banking sector, we will look in detail at the available price data and trends in housing prices to date and will identify differences in those trends between different data sources. Based on these analyses, we will calculate the impacts of future trends on access to housing for the generation of young people who are currently most affected by the inaccessibility of housing. One of our aims in doing so is to recommend and evaluate various possible regulatory measures.
Modern society is substantially affected by mobility and migration. Today’s unprecedented movement of people, ideas and resources is affecting every aspect of our lives, including state sovereignty and perceptions of identity. Mobility and migration disrupt the dominance of national identities and citizenship in favour of transnational and hybrid identities. They also contribute to increasing xenophobia and populism, because they hint at the loss of long-established order and are perceived as threats. In this project we investigate phenomena such as the relationship between mobility and governmental or international regulations; border delimitation and the formation of differences; the creation of order and street-level bureaucracy; the transformation of national identities and citizenship; the ordinariness and subjectivity of migration participants.