The political and social integration of modern societies are the focus of research in Research Area IV. Problems related to global economic ties, the emergence of international and supranational centers of political decision making, migration and increased cultural and social heterogeneity represent major challenges to nation states, calling into question their ability to handle such matters and threatening to splinter modern societies. Political and societal orders face the awesome task of overcoming the difficulties which lead to growing tensions and conflicts. At the core of analysis is the question, how stable, adaptable, and reformable are established democracies, new democracies, and political and societal actors? Transnationalization and the Europeanization of politics and policies are the essential, underlying conditions that will determine whether political institutions function or fail.