Professorship Sustainability and Politics

How can we proactively influence the development of society and the economy while at the same time stabilising the natural basis of our life on this planet? The co-optimisation of economic, social and ecological developments is at the heart of a politics of sustainability. At the Institute of Sustainability Governance this question of fundamental theoretical and practical importance is treated in both research and teaching. Four key topic areas are:

Sustainability in government policy and public administration

The institutionalisation of sustainability in politics and public administration is - due to its particular character as a cross-cutting issue, as a regulative idea and as an integrative principle - a special challenge for practice and theoretical analysis. In this area of expertise, research is being carried out to determine the extent to which sustainability is institutionalised in politics and the public administration and how its institutionalisation can be shaped in the future.

Sustainability, government policy and the economy

As a social production system transforming resources for consumption, the economy is a major subject of regulatory sustainability policy and development. The main research questions in this area concern the efficiency, effectiveness, legitimacy and justice of sustainability policy in regulating and shaping the actions of both companies and consumers in the economy.

Sustainability as a process of conflict, communication and cooperation

Communicative and cooperative approaches play a crucial role in sustainable development due to its cross-cutting nature and normative orientation towards social transformation. Sustainability policy-making has the task of initiating and designing sustainability-oriented communication and cooperation processes in order to anticipate and avoid conflicts, mediate existing conflicts and enable social discovery and learning processes. This area thus focusses on the importance and possibilities for designing conflict, communication and cooperation processes that will lead to sustainable development.

Sensory Sustainability Research

Sustainability science has produced an impressive stock of knowledge over the past two decades. Now there is available solid knowledge about unsustainable developments as well as transformation approaches. These finding and methods, however, which are bound to the scientific tradition, are strongly rational-cognitivisic orientated. Thereby, however, the connectivity to multisensorial lifeworlds of humans is limited. Employing approaches of the sociology of senses, sensory ethnography and arts-based research this focus area aims at sensory knowledge production and communication for sustainable development.