From its base within the Sociology Department, the Centre’s principal objectives are:
- To create the first UK centre for research in economic sociology, with the aim of building a centre of expertise with an international reputation for world-class research.
- To establish a distinctive approach to innovation studies with an economic sociology perspective, addressing issues of technological innovation, including ‘social technologies’, at the forefront of global change.
- To foster international and comparative research drawing on external funding from a wide range of sources (European, UK Research Councils, and government departments).
- To promote interdisciplinary and inter-departmental collaborative research, including across the social and natural science divide.
- To consolidate or establish collaborative links with major European and US equivalent research centres in the field of economic sociology.
The Centre aims to provide a space for the development of a shared set of theoretical and empirical interests, encouraging dialogue between different perspectives and approaches in order to advance the field of economic sociology. On the basis of the breadth and range of its research interests, its combination of economic sociology and political and cultural economy, its interest in the multi-modality of capitalist economies, and a strong focus on consumption and innovation, CRESI is developing a distinctive identity. A strong feature of this culture is the global reach of its research, and an approach that is both historical and comparative. International collaborative research in Europe, USA, South America and the Asia Pacific are established areas of CRESI research.
A number of economic sociology approaches are strongly represented within the Centre. These include network theory, fiscal sociology, political economy, economic and social rights theory, neo-Polanyian approaches, sociology of consumption, economic history, cultural economy and history. CRESI aims to stimulate dialogue between these, and with closely related intellectual traditions such as innovation studies, evolutionary economics, the new geography, feminist economics, institutional economics, management and accountancy.