Prof. Dr. Paul Burger

Head of the group Sustainability Research

Professor for the socio-cultural domain within the interdisciplinary Master in Sustainable Development



Born 1956, initially trained as a technician, he studied philosophy and history (doctorate 1992, habilitation 1997), was scientific assistant for philosophy in Basel und Luzern, SNF-research fellow, lecturer at the universities of St. Gallen, Fribourg, Innsbruck, Maribor, and from 1998-2005 head of the interfaculty teaching program People Society Environment at the University of Basel; since 2006 he has been in charge of the Program Sustainability Research; he also represents the University of Basel in the organising committee of the biannual EUCOR summer-university in sustainability science, and is Co-Chairman of the International Sustainability Conference (ISC).


Research and teaching interests

Among his research interests are theoretical foundations for sustainability, values and evaluation (especially within sustainability issues), human-nature-interrelations, ontology of systems, social theories and sustainability, epistemology and methodology of future studies and of inter- & transdisciplinary research.

Currently offered themes for Master theses at the Program sustainability research [PDF [PDF/78 KB]]


Current projects

  • Soziologie in der Nachhaltigkeitsforschung. Auf dem Weg zur Koevolutionswissenschaft (Sociology in sustainability research; Habilitationsprojekt Jens Jetzkowitz, Uni Lüneburg)
  • Wissen als Gut. Ein Beitrag zur Grundlegung der sozialen Erkenntnistheorie (Knowledge as a good. A contribution to social epistemology, Diss. Rainer Kamber).
  • Biophysische Welt und Autonomie des Sozialen [PDF [PDF/78 KB]]
  • Axiologie und Nachhaltige Entwicklung (Axiology and Sustainable Development, Diss. Marius Christen).
  • Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung von Sanitation-Projekten in indischen Kleinstädten (Sustainability Assessement of sanitation projects in India, Masterarbeit Carole Küng).

Aktuelle Publikationen

Schultz, EmilyChristen, Marius; Voget, Lieske; Burger, Paul: A Sustainability-fitting Interpretation of the Capabilities Approach: Integrating the Natural Dimension by employing Feedback Loops, in: Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 14, 2013, H. 1, S. 115-133.
Lange, Philipp; Driessen, Peter P. J.; Sauer, Alexandra; Bornemann, BasilBurger, Paul: Governing towards sustainability - conceptualizing modes of governance, in: Journal of environmental policy & planning 15, 2013, H. 3, S. 403-425.
Allemann, Sven; Burger, Paul: Towards a Holistic Representation of Power Systems for Sustainability Assessments, in: Energy policy , 2013, S. submitted.

> Alle Publikationen



Office hours:
Wednesday 16:00-18:00
Appointments by email.

Bernoullistrasse 16
CH - 4056 Basel

Büro 02.005

+41 (0)61 267 04 03