© rcfotostock/fotolia.de
© rcfotostock/fotolia.de

The research focuses on institutional arrangements and forms of governance for collectively used goods (public goods) against the background of the interplay between centralised decision-making in a multilevel state system, on the one hand, and decentralised action on the other. In the context of the current worldwide renaissance of research on public goods, the department’s interest centres on the spatial dimensions of such goods, in what way they are interdependent and how they are constituted through social construction. Thematically, the focus is on the production, distribution and use of energy. This work is complemented by insight from the established field of cultural landscape research. From a conceptual point of view, the department explores new strands of research on institutions and public goods, and examines these from the perspective of "power", "materiality" and "people".

Photo: © rcfotostock/fotolia.de

Ongoing lead project

The lead project’s aim is to better understand the political construction and the governance of critical infrastructures in conjunction with their spatial dimension. Infrastructures are increasingly considered regarding their vulnerability to disruption and the security risks resulting from it. Political resources are mobilized to appropriately secure ‘critical infrastructures’ such as communications and energy networks. But which infrastructures are considered critical and why? Which governance approaches are used to manage infrastructure-related risks? Urban climate change adaptation and energy transitions are two fields in which the aspect of infrastructural criticality receives increasing attention. Therefore, they will be in the centre of analysis in this lead project. more

13. February | 2020

The "Institutional Change and Regional Public Goods" research department examines fundamental socio-ecological transformation processes. It seeks to produce in-depth analyses to make sense of the complex societal challenges we face today. But that is easier said than done. Should we apply a bird's eye perspective to study broad causal relationships? Or instead zoom in and focus on individual cases and what makes them unique? On January 27, 2020, renowned scholars Gretchen Bakke, Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe attended a departmental workshop to discuss these and other questions. more info

Photo: Biel Morro/Unsplash
07. May | 2020 - 08. May | 2020
Energy Futures Conference. Emerging Pathways in an Uncertain World!

The future of energy is highly uncertain. Under the looming threat of climate change, there is increasing pressure to transform the ways in which energy is generated, distributed, traded and consumed in order to achieve more sustainable futures. Yet the conditions of these transformations are constantly changing. While the Fridays for Future movement has shown increasing support for environmental transformations, the political atmosphere under which energy transitions are being implemented has changed. more infos