Social change is understood as a more or less rapid and comprehensive change of societal structures and institutions, including changes to the economic, technological, and cultural frameworks of a society (Calhoun, 1992). A case in point is the breakup or transformation of the former communist countries in Europe in the 1980s. The political transition to representative democracy included a profound change of the economic system to market capitalism, which was soon overlaid by the negative effects of globalization. Today, some 20 years after the event, we have a huge variation of political and economic transformations around the world. These transformations also include countries such as the United Kingdom or China that have undergone economic reforms without changes in the basics of the political system. Given that social change is evident at the macro level, it is also plausible to assume that such changes have an impact on individuals’ behavior and development. Until recently, however, such issues did not rank very high on the research agenda, at least not for psychology. This is the background to this Special Section, which brings together papers that investigate the effect of social change on the lives of individuals.