Socio-Cultural and Economic Component

This part of ASU's "Security & Defense Systems Initiative" (SDSI) examines root causes of emerging security and defense challenges, to address these before they grow to become major threats that require costly action.

SDSI is organized around three main components

These range from factors that can contribute to cross-border tensions, to cultural factors that can create potential for future security and defense issues, to the competition for natural resources and the networks needed to enable their equitable distribution. By better understanding these drivers of potential future conflicts, SDSI can help support the development of solutions to alleviate them.

Key research groups across ASU related to this socio-cultural and economic component of the “Security & Defense Systems Initiative” include:

Center for Strategic Communication
Fosters interdisciplinary research to understand message spread and traction in extremist narratives that influence and persuade populations to support or tolerate them. Seeks communications interventions for use in combating violent extremism.

Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
Promotes interdisciplinary research and education on the dynamics of religion and conflict to advance knowledge, seek solutions and inform policy. It creates innovative links among academics, policymakers, practitioners and religious leaders.

Center for Asian Research
Promotes interdisciplinary research and education on Asia through a variety of programs. Involves more than 100 faculty members at ASU with direct expertise in Asia through research, teaching, or other professional experiences with the region.

Center for Population Dynamics
A transdisciplinary research center composed of scholars involved in broad aspects of population research. It pursues novel avenues of population research in local, regional, national and international settings.

Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity
Leverages the field of complex systems to foster interdisciplinary research on social dynamics, including cohesion, cooperation, and conflict. Involves scientists from anthropology, biology, mathematics, philosophy, physics, psychology, and sociology.

Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity
A multidisciplinary endeavor to understand how norms and rules that govern common resources and provide public goods perform in different social-ecological systems. It is an incubator of novel research on collective action and the commons.

Center for Critical Inquiry & Cultural Studies
Fosters collaborative study and scholarship via interdisciplinary groups addressing topics including practice and discipline of law and governance. Includes the history, theory, and practice of political liberation in disparate cultures and societies.

The Melikian Center
Involves over 30 ASU faculty and several East European and Eurasian universities in projects for USAID, DoD, State, and others; includes one of the largest programs for intensive training in less commonly taught East European and Eurasian languages.

Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics
Emphasizes the essential role that morals and values play in the achievements and successes individuals and organizations. Seeks to increase ethical awareness and understanding to improve ethical decision-making of society at large.