History of Social Change
This research group creates a platform that focuses on long-term research into social developments. The History curriculum of the VUB has a long tradition in this field, which goes back to the creation of the autonomous VUB in 1969, and in which all current ZAP members can easily find themselves. The HIST Research Group will have a unique place in Flanders (and even Europe) where such long-term approaches are lacking.
The new research group continues and deepens the above-mentioned tradition through research into broad international processes such as state formation, urbanization, government initiatives and living standards from antiquity to the present. These themes are currently in sight of the ZAP of the History program, but the availability of a platform allows these activities to be aligned to come out as a whole.
This "whole" has to do with visibility (inside and especially outside the VUB). After all, in the near future, the current Department of History will merge with the SKAR and FILO departments to form a new department (HARP). This operation leads to the need to establish a new research group in order to preserve the research identity of the historians of the VUB and, as mentioned above, deepen it. The existence of this new, clearly recognizable research group will facilitate national and international research-oriented contacts, emphasizing multidisciplinary and diachronic relationships, with emphasis on social history. This new research group unites all the ZAP of the current Department of History (currently not all professors are members of an currently operational research group within History), in addition to AAP, BAP and volunteer staff.