“The future is collaborative” – Jackie Kay (Scots Makar)


We are living in a web of growing interdependence; built around trade, investment, cultural exchange, digital technologies, and global politics. The problems and concerns of an inextricably interconnected world do not fit neatly into disciplinary frameworks, nor are they usually the purview of a singular nation, or type of organisation or institution.

Interdependence makes effective cooperation crucial; indeed, it has been a defining feature of human evolution - initially in relatively small groups and becoming increasingly complex as societies developed. The benefits of this cooperation have included increased productivity and innovation (through division of labour and economies of scale and learning from others), a wider range of products and services and spreading of risk.  
Yet the challenges cooperation presents are ever more complex and they are increasingly difficult to manage as the scale of interdependence increases. For example, how do we suppress cheating and free riding to avoid modern ‘tragedies of the commons’ and strike the right balance between private and social costs and benefits?


Four programmes supported under this Call for Proposals will consider interdependence and cooperation from a variety of perspectives, with a view to generating insights for policy and practice from theory to form a better understanding of cooperative experience at home and abroad.