Research for the Environment

Department of Environmental Politics

Department of Environmental Politics - Members

Head of Department:
Prof. Christoph Görg
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 internships at three months minimum. 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

Beck, S., Böschen, S., Kropp, C., Voss, M. (2013): Jenseits des Anpassungs-managements. Zu den Potenzialen sozialwissenschaftlicher Klimawandelforschung. Beyond adaptation management. What role(s) for social sciences in research on climate change? Reaktion auf zwei Artikel zur sozialwissenschaftlichen Anpassungsforschung. T. Grothmann et al. 2011. GAIA 20 (2): 84–90; U. von Winterfeld. 2012. GAIA 21 (3): 168–170, GAIA 22 (1), 8–13

Cornelissen, G., Bashshur, M.R., Rode, J., Le Menestrel, M. (2013): Rules or consequences? The role of ethical mind-sets in moral dynamics. Psychol. Sci. 24 (4), 482–488

Falaleeva, M., Rauschmayer, F. (2013): Evaluating environmental governance in a Belarusian World Bank biodiversity project. Environ. Conserv. 40 (2), 147–156

Hauck, J., Görg, C., Varjopuro, R., Ratamäki, O., Jax, K. (2013): Benefits and limitations of the ecosystem services concept in environmental policy and decision making: some stakeholder perspectives. Environ. Sci. Policy 25, 13–21

Hauck, J., Priess, J.A. (2013): „The most likely future isn’t“: Landnutzungsszenarien für Mitteldeutschland Raumforschung und Raumordnung

Jax, K., Barton, D.N., Chan, K.M.A., Doyle, U., Eser, U., Görg, C., Gómez-Baggethun, E., Griewald, Y., Haber, W., Haines-Young, R., Heink, U., Jahn, T., Joosten, H., Kerschbaumer, L., Korn, H., Luck, G.W., Matzdorf, B., Muraca, B., Neßhöver, C., Norton, B., Ott, K., Potschin, M., Rauschmayer, F., von Haaren, C., Wichmann, S. (2013): Ecosystem services and ethics. Ecol. Econ. 93, 260–268

Lessmann, D., Rauschmayer, F. (2013): Re-conceptualizing sustainable development on the basis of the capability approach: a model and its difficulties. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 14 (1), 95–114

Neßhöver, C., Timaeus, J., Wittmer, H., Krieg, A., Geamana, N., van den Hove, S., Young, J., Watt, A. (2013): Improving the science-policy interface of biodiversity research projects. GAIA 22 (2), 99–103

Weiland, S., Weiss, V., Turnpenny, J. (2013): Introduction: Science in policy making. Nat. Cult. 8 (1), 1–7