Network for Economic and Social Trends

About NEST: Western Social Science Research and Policy

Modern societies are experiencing unprecedented social and economic changes, including a slowdown in economic growth, rising inequality, and increasing ethnic diversity and geographic mobility.

NEST, the flagship research and policy alliance in the Faculty of Social Science at Western University, addresses these challenges by conducting world-class multidisciplinary research, fostering national and international collaborations, and facilitating the training of the next generation of leaders in academia, the private and non-profit sectors, and government.

NEST is the umbrella organization for all six Western Research Centres in the Faculty of Social Science which set its agenda and provide its governance.

NEST Leadership

NEST is located in and governed by the Faculty of Social Science. It is led by the Director who works closely with the Governing Council and is advised by the External Advisory Committee. The Director reports directly to the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science.

Dean, Faculty of Social Science

Robert Andersen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science
Robert Andersen is Dean of the Faculty of Social Science. He is a Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Statistics and Actuarial Science.

Andersen’s recent research explores the relationship between economic inequality and political attitudes and behaviours in a cross-national perspective. He is particularly concerned with how individual-level economic position—measured by social class or income—interacts with national economic conditions to influence outcomes considered important to the health of democracy, including tolerance, support for democracy, attitudes toward redistribution, and civic participation.

NEST Director

Victoria Esses, Professor of Psychology
Victoria Esses is Professor of Psychology and Co-Chair of the Pathways to Prosperity Partnership.

Her research focuses on immigration policy and practice, including public attitudes toward immigration and cultural diversity; promising practices in settlement and integration; factors promoting the settlement and integration of immigrants; and the measurement of community welcome-ability and immigrant outcomes. She has extensive experience conducting research in this area, including invited work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments in Canada and internationally, and for the settlement sector.