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Depart­ment of Socio­eco­no­mics: Rese­arch Profile

Distinc­tive strengths

The Depart­ment is unique at the WU with regard to the breadth of disci­plines assem­bled under its roof. This diver­sity enhances our ability to address complex real world problems. We can draw on a very exten­sive range of approa­ches, theo­ries and rese­arch methods, sustain most encom­pas­sing inter­na­tional rese­arch networks, and have access to an excep­tio­nally wide range of chan­nels for disse­mi­na­ting our rese­arch findings and policy recom­men­da­tions. The Depart­ment hosts several inter­na­tio­nally visible scho­lars and islands of excel­lence at the rese­ar­ch-group and insti­tute level.

Major rese­arch areas and projects

One major rese­arch area inte­gra­ting all parts of the Depart­ment is global trans­for­ma­tions and sustaina­bi­lity. Within this field, several clus­ters of excel­lence can be distin­gu­ished inclu­ding, in parti­cular, sustainable resource use, conse­quences of demo­gra­phic and human capital change, sustainable work, respon­sible inno­va­tion, sustaina­bi­li­ty­-­re­lated value- and cultu­re-ch­ange, and (multi-­level) gover­nance for sustainable deve­lop­ment. In 2017, rese­ar­chers were engaged in nearly 60 thir­d-­party funded projects, a third of which were new projects. These projects cover a broad range of policy problems and policy fields such as energy policy, trans­por­ta­tion policy, labour market and social policy, regional and urban deve­lop­ment.

Sustainable Work Initia­tive

The Depart­ment´s rese­arch agenda on “sustainable work” was laun­ched in 2015. This important rese­arch area spans a wide range of dimen­sions which due to its internal diver­sity the Depart­ment is excep­tio­nally well placed to cover and inte­grate. Across disci­plines, an important ques­tion is how work is defined (employ­ment, volun­teer / commu­nity work, subsis­tence / domestic work etc.). Socio­lo­gical, histo­rical, macro economic, labour economic, beha­vioural economic, as well as manage­ment approa­ches explore the rela­ti­onship between work and well­being. Further­more we inves­ti­gate the employ­ment and envi­ron­mental policy nexus. The Depart­ment of Socio­eco­no­mics works to bring these dimen­sions toge­ther and become a leader on the topic.

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