Theoretical Level

Contributions to the Theory of Sustainable Development:

  • Relating the normative basis (approach to intra- and intergenerational justice based on the Capability Approach) with factual system approaches (approach to social-economic systems);
  • Relation between intrinsic and instrumental values through work on sustainability criteria and 'what to sustain';
  • Theories of societal transformation and governance.

Empirical Level

We carry out empirical research projects mainly within Switzerland and Europe.  Additional research projects are mainly carried out in Africa.

Our main focus is on:

  • Using metrics of well-being and action-abilities (capabilities) as criteria for assessing sustainable development projects;
  • Analyzing governance, societal learning and socio-ecological regimes regarding drivers and barriers for implementing sustainable development;
  • Specific topics are, among others,  energy transition, implementing sustainability in political administrations, and regional governance.

A special focus is on change of energy demand in households.

Research Colloquium

The research colloquium is held every semester and serves two purposes. First, it offers the possibility for PhD students and Masters students to present their current state of research and discuss open questions. Second, it serves as a platform for discussing of current topics occurring within the field of sustainability science.