Social science history is the study of the past using the tools of social science, be these from economics, political science, sociology, or other disciplines including anthropology, demography, geography, and history itself. It can be either qualitative or quantitative, but is analytical in nature, and is usually informed by social science theory – while remaining as faithful as possible to the complexity of the historical record. Social science research is inherently inter-disciplinary: NYU Abu Dhabi has accumulated a great array of talent in social science history, involving researchers from all three social science programmes.
The basic function of the Social Science History Laboratory will be to provide the infrastructure for funding and carrying out this research. It will also foster research by bringing visitors to campus hosting a variety of research events, organizing a regular research seminar, and hiring post-doctoral students.
Social science history research at NYU Abu Dhabi covers a wide variety of areas, including historical political economy, the history of regulation, the history of globalization, the economic history of the Middle East, religious history, and women’s history.