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Research Topics

Environmental and sustainability governance

Global environmental change poses new challenges, which require new methods and approaches for (political) decision making. Within the research topic “Environmental and sustainability governance” we address governance options suitable for shaping global change in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner.

Science-policy-society interfaces

Environmental research responds to an increased demand by public and private decision makers for politically relevant scientific information. At the same time, research also faces new challenges such as meeting the scientific credibility, delivery in time, and societal “usefulness” under high scientific uncertainties and contested values and political interests. The working group analyzes the relationship between science and decision-making and explores how to improve procedures and governance structures in a policy relevant, effective and legitimate way.

Behaviour-related environmental research

Our research focuses on the way individuals and social groups deal with environmental issues. This includes their environmentally significant behaviour as well as their perceptions and appraisals of nature-related problems and the way society tries to solve them. In this context we also look at the impact and the legitimacy of political efforts to influence people’s behaviour.

Sustainability transitions

The concept of sustainable development is a basic principle of modern environmental politics. Its major postulation is to care also for future generations, thus forcing environmental politics to deal with the tension between intra- and intergenerational justice. This research topic analyses concepts of socio-ecological transitions that are an appropriate foundation for furthering sustainable development politically and socially.