Research for the Environment

Department of Environmental Politics

Department of Environmental Politics - Members

Acting head of department:
Dr. Felix Rauschmayer

Heide Scharfe

phone +49 341 235-1255
fax +49 341 235-45 1255

Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

The Department of Environmental Politics addresses social dynamics, institutional framework conditions and actor constellations determining the success of environmental policy. It forms part of the Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS) and works in close cooperation with the departments of:

Thematic areas include land use and land use change, nature and biodiversity conservation, the use of ecosystem services, climate policy, mobility as well as energy production and consumption; all of which imply interaction between environmental politics and other policy areas (mainstreaming). Analysis focuses on the processes of formulating environmental policies and on the institutional structures of environmental policy decisions, in the framework of the European multi-level system and international environmental treaties and agreements (multi-level governance). Special attention is given to the state and its interaction with other stakeholders, such as science and civil society but also to individual and community-level decision making. Analysing how policies are developed and determining in how far policy can be shaped and can in turn shape individual and collective behaviour is at the heart of many projects.

The main research topics are:

Apart from political science the disciplines of human geography, institutional and ecological economics, psychology and sociology are also represented within the department. It is thus well versed in applying its competencies in integrated projects, and works closely with social and natural scientists within and outside the UFZ. Within the ÖKUS division it is most notably involved in the following working groups:


The department provides the possibility for three-month internships. A curriculum vitae, a letter which clearly expresses qualification and specific motivation concerning certain projects of the department, as well as precise information according to the timescale are to be addressed to

Internships are without payment. Please also note: Applications must be based on a prescribed placement for school students, a degree course, an internship prior to a degree programme, or some other form of basic or further training. Applicants keen to do an internship in order to improve their employment prospects need to submit a letter from their job centre indicating its approval.

New Publications of the Department

Lövbrand, E., Beck, S., Chilvers, J., Forsyth, T., Hedrén, J., Hulme, M., Lidskog, R, Vasileiadou, E. (2015): Taking the human (sciences) seriously: Realizing the critical potential of the Anthropocene. Global Environmental Change 32, 211-218.

Beck, S., Forsyth, T. (2015): Democratizing Global Assessments: the IPCC and adaption. In: Hilgartner, S. et al. (eds.): Science and Democracy. Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond. London: Routledge.

Geden, O., Beck, S. (2015): Klimapolitik am Scheideweg. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 31-32/2015, 12-18.

Masson, T., Centgraf, S., Rauschmayer, F. (2015): Mitglieder-Zuwachspotenzial für Energiegenossenschaften in Deutschland? Zeitschrift für das gesamte Genossenschaftswesen 65, 191-208.

Leßmann, O., Masson, T. (2015): Sustainable consumption in capability perspective: Operationalization and empirical illustration. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 57, 64-72.

Kammerlander, M., Schanes, K., Hartwig, F., Jäger, J., Omann, I., O'Keefe, M. (2015): A resource-efficient and sufficient future mobility system for improved well-being in Europe. European Journal of Futures Research 3:8. DOI 10.1007/s40309-015-0065-x.

Rauschmayer, F., Bauler, T., Schäpke, N. (2015): Towards a thick understanding of sustainability transitions — Linking transition management, capabilities and social practices. Ecological Economics 109, 211-221.

Rauschmayer, F., Omann, I. (2015): Well-being in sustainability transitions: making use of needs. In: Syse, K.L., Mueller, M.L. (eds.): Sustainable consumption and the good life: interdisciplinary perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge, 111-125.

Rode, J., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Krause, T. (2015): Motivation crowding by economic incentives in conservation policy: A review of the empirical evidence. Ecological Economics, in press.

Rode, J., Le Menestrel, M., van Wassenhove, L., Simon, A. (2015): Ethical Analysis for Evaluating Sustainable Business Decisions: The Case of Environmental Impact Evaluation in the Inambari Hydropower Project. Sustainability 7, 10343-10364.

Partzsch, L., Weiland, S. (eds.) (2015): Macht und Wandel in der Umweltpolitik. Sonderband der Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 26.

Weiland, S., Partzsch, L. (2015): Zum Nexus von Macht und Wandel. Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 26, 225-235.

Adelle, C., Weiland, S. (2015): Sustainability assessment at the policy level. In: Morrison-Saunders, A. et al. (eds.): Handbook of Sustainability Assessment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 103-124.