Fostering environmental and social sustainability

  • Typ: Seminar (S)
  • Beginn: Introductory meeting will take place on 21.04.2016, 09:45-11:15 h
  • Dozent:

    Prof. Dr. Nora Szech,
    Jannis Engel 

  • Prüfung: Midterm presentations: 21.06.2016. Deadline for papers: 15.08.2016.
  • Hinweis:

    Place holder in "Modulhandbuch": SemPÖ2 (Seminar on Topics in Political Economics) 

Very generally speaking, sustainability describes the ability to maintain a certain condition or process for a prolonged period. It has multiple, often heavily interlinked aspects. The economic dimension is concerned with the allocation of resources and capital in order to maintain economic growth. The environmental dimension encompasses the interaction of humans and nature. Destructive exploitation of natural resources, pollution or overfishing are typical examples of environmentally unsustainable behavior. Furthermore sustainability has another, less frequently discussed, social component. It encompasses labor rights, human rights and as well as social integration of the different segments of a society.

How can we promote sustainability? Is it possible to change people’s behavior? The success of the book Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler as well as the creation of the Behavioral Insights Unit in the United Kingdom show that the induction of sustainable behavior is of public interest and a political concern. With the support at our chair, students develop their own ideas for the design of an economic experiment or field of study.
Please note that no topics will be handed out by the seminar facilitators. Instead participants will develop their own research question in the field of social or environmental sustainability.

Students may work individually or in pairs of two, whereas working in teams is recommended.
The seminar starts with an introductory meeting on April 21. Ideas for experiments or field studies will be presented in a block event on June 21, each presentation lasting max. 20 minutes. Full attendance in both meetings is required for successful participation in the seminar! Seminar papers of 8 – 10 pages are to be handed in by August 15, 2016.

For bachelor students grades will be based on the quality of presentations and discussions in the seminar (50%) and the seminar paper (50%).
Master students additionally have to hand in two abstracts with their paper. Their grades will be based on the quality of presentations and discussions in the seminar (40%), the seminar paper (40%) and the two abstracts (20%).

Participation will be limited to 12 students.

Please note that application will be possible via the centralized platform "Seminarportal" until 29 February 2016.

For further questions, please contact Jannis Engel (