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Research Projects

© EU 1.5 Lifestyles

EU 1.5° Lifestyles

The main objective of the project is to promote lifestyles that are consistent with the 1.5°C climate target and to facilitate the transformations envisaged in the Paris Agreement and the EU Green Deal. To this end, the project develops guidance for policymakers, businesses, civil society organizations, and private households based on scientific evidence on how lifestyle choices affect carbon footprints and how structural contexts enable or constrain options for sustainable lifestyles.

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Microbial biotechnology - sustainability benefits and social participation

© Lehrstuhl Fuchs


Participation for a Sustainable Common Good

© Presseamt Münster - Angelika Klauser

Indicators for the Quality of Life and the Environment

One of the core issues in the globalization debate has been the question of the benefits and costs of globalization and their distribution. A fundamental problem with such inquiries, however, is their choice of indicators. A joint research project of Prof. Doris Fuchs, Prof. Markus Lederer, Prof. Bernd Schlipphak, Prof. Oliver Treib and Dr. Le Anh Long seeks to answer this question.

Prinzipalmarkt14 Presseamt Muenster Tilman Ro _m _ller 2 1
© Pixabay Lizenz

Consumption Corridors

One focus of the chair's work is research on consumption corridors and strongly sustainable consumption. Specifically, we focus on the question of how and under what conditions a good life is possible for all those living now or in the future within the planetary boundaries. To this end, we focus on consumption minima and maxima as conditions for satisfying needs, as well as necessary structural framework conditions and social processes.


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The project MOVER (Factors of Success and Failure in Organized Consumer Participation) is a joint project in cooperation with the HHU Düsseldorf, the University of Siegen and the University of Cologne. Organized consumer participation (e.g. repair cafés, food sharing) manifests itself in both formal and non-formal, small as well as large, local as well as (inter)national forms of organization. In practice, these organizations are often confronted with a wide variety of challenges and sometimes threaten to fail because of them. This project investigates which factors hinder or promote the success of organized consumer participation in order to derive recommendations for action for the organizations themselves as well as for the framework-creating consumer (education) policy.

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The RESOLVE project (Reducing Returns in Online Retailing - Approaches to Shaping More Sustainable Consumer Behavior) is a joint project in cooperation with the HHU Düsseldorf, the University of Siegen and the University of Cologne. Return shipping and handling processes of returned goods in online retailing pollute the climate and the environment, lead to considerable costs on the part of online retailers and indirectly increase market prices for consumers. The aim of the joint project is to derive design recommendations for the preventive reduction of returns at the individual consumer level as well as for political and legal framework conditions that promote sustainability.

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The Role of "Green" Political Judgment Formation for Sustainability-Oriented Citizen Participation Processes

Drawing on ideas of environmental virtue ethics and environmental citizenship, this research project argues that in order for citizens to achieve sustainability-promoting outcomes in participatory processes, the virtue of "green" political judgment formation – an adaption of the Aristotelian phronesis – is indispensable. Following the elaboration of this concept, the project bridges the gap to political practice by examining practical framework conditions for successful "green" political judgment formation.

© Max Gruber / Better Images of AI / Banana / Plant / Flask / CC-BY 4.0

AI and Sustainability

The development of new applications of machine learning and "artificial intelligence" in the last decade have generated great expectations in the potential of these technologies, also in relation to the transformation towards sustainability. As part of the work package "AI and Sustainability" of the project "Interdisciplinary Teaching Programme on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence" at the WWU, target group-specific communication and teaching materials are developed, implemented and evaluated on the basis of the state of research on sustainability implications, challenges and potentials of AI in connection with the didactics of Education for Sustainable Development.

  • Former Research Projects


    Religious Protagonists in Global Governance

    The project analyses the conditions and results of the conflict of normative “truths” in selected fields of policy, particularly in international development and environmental policy, taking the role of transnational religious actors in supranational arenas, especially in international negotiations and UN world conferences, into consideration. In these global arenas, central questions such as the definition of development, the issue of global inequality or the climate problem are negotiated. At the same time, these questions touch on the basic normative principles of an international society as a community of values: what role do the specific characteristics of religious actors play in international negotiations and debates? Under which circumstances can religious actors transform their legitimacy as credible players into discoursive power? And how do external conditions such as institutional settings and political opportunity structures influence the successful exercise of discoursive power by religious actors and norms?


    The research project LITRES focussed on the way, the German energy turnaround can be implemented by local initiatives using alternative sources of energy and on the accompanying change in governance structures. This kind of political engagement has yet neither been studied with regard to its particular form of participation nor to its potential for transforming the energy system and finally, the interplay of both aspects constitutes a research gap to be filled by LITRES.





    The interdisciplinary research project "KomMA-P" studied the conditions for citizens’ acceptance of the German energy turnaround. The initial idea claims that adequate participation opportunities are a necessary condition. "KomMA-P" aimed at exploring how low-threshold participation opportunities requiring no investment could be developed. In order to do so, the project researched how technical solutions and participation opportunities are dependent on one another or connected.




    Time Horizons in International Environmental Policy

    Find out more about which role “time” plays in European climate and fishing policy.




    Political Economy of Global Processes of Financialization

    The junior researcher network "The Political Economy of Global Financialization Processes", funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) from 2009-2014, aims to analyze the political-economic characteristics, causes and consequences of this development and thus contribute to the discussion about structural solutions to the current financial crisis.





    Transpose - Transfer of Electricity Saving Policies

    TRANSPOSE examines electricity saving potentials in private households.
    The project association is based upon the very question why existing electricity saving potentials are so rarely exhausted. We assume that there are plenty of barriers which can be found on both the individual consumer and the consumer environment level . Due to the complexity of these barriers, there is a substantial need to mix political instruments.






    Private Retail Governance in the Agri-Food System

    This project examined the implications of the standards developed by the food trade (e.g. GlobalGAP) for the ecological and social sustainability of the global food system and the democratic legitimacy of governing in this system.
    --> with Agni Kalfagianni



    Agri-Food Corporations and Global Governance

    This project investigated transnational corporations' power in the global food system. An international workshop was held in this context at theUniversity of Waterloo. (2006-2007)
    --> with Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo, financed by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Center for International Governance and the University of Waterloo.


    The Implications of Private Food Governance for Climate Change Politics

    Project leader: Karsten Ronit, University of Copenhagen
    This project examined the potential and limits of private governance in food policy for global climate