Research in social economics is concerned with the reciprocal relationship between individuals and society, and incorporates findings of sociology, economics and social theory. The combination of knowledge and methods from different academic disciplines makes for a systemic and historical approach. This includes sociability as a productive resource, as well as the democratic processes that are inevitably associated with it. It also studies the way markets function and fail, and examines the nature of democratic government. The centre’s research programme concentrates on uniting economic reason, political realism and social responsibility. In addition to scholarly output the Centre also bears an advisory responsibility – for example, in relation to the formation of local structures. In the currently predominant forms of relationship between individuals and society we can identify a dynamic that requires a new social contract. This contract must incorporate the right to protection from social and economic exclusion, as this right forms the basis of all free judgement and political action.