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The Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development at the Socio-economics Department specializes in economic and socio-ecological development, focusing on actors, organizations and policy relevance. We are particularly interested in the interlinkages between global dynamics (growth compulsion, free trade, consumerism,…) and local and regional opportunities for policy, business and citizens to take action. The institute focusses on the following inter- and trans-disciplinary fields of research and teaching:

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The socio-economic approach of the Institute draws on inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration and focuses on societally relevant topics, including democracy, climate change, international trade and investor protection agreements, biodiversity and mobility. Multi-level governance is a field, which understands political steering in terms of the interaction of multiple actors, including non-state actors, and stresses the importance of integrated analysis. Instead of addressing “the state” and “the market” as a duality, this approach bases empirical knowledge generation on multiple stakeholder analysis and considers new forms of the private and the public, including the commons, non-governmental organizations, and the solidarity economy. In doing so, it avoids both an antiquated understanding of methodological nationalism and unrealistic hopes for the emergence of Global Governance structures, but rather employs a more realistic multi-level analysis of contemporary governance issues.

 The institute’s agenda for research and teaching is geared towards cooperation with other institutes at the Department for Socio-Economics, the WU, and beyond. It also draws on transdisciplinary approaches and Knowledge Alliances, which include both academic and non-academic partners – the Good Life for All and “Hauptschule trifft Hochschule” (Secondary Education meets Higher Education).

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