Socio-Ecological Transformation

Summer Semester 2022 Courses

Sustainable Consumption (BA-WP5b)

When: Seminar / lecture: Tuesdays, 10:15 – 11:45

Tutorial: Tuesdays, 12:15 – 14:45

Room: Seminar / lecture: MAR 0015

Tutorial: MAR 0003

Content: Why do we consume? What options do we have to save or share resources? What can we do as individuals to practice sustainable consumption? What framework conditions and incentives are required for different forms of sustainable consumption to flourish and establish themselves in society? The Sustainable Consumption (Nachhaltiger Konsum) seminar combines the basics of consumer research and consumer behavior with the goals and concerns of sustainable development. It addresses the relevance and the concept of sustainable consumption, identifies actors and basic strategies (efficiency, consistency, sufficiency) and presents the opportunities and limits of sustainable consumption in key areas of demand. Using the LOLA method (Looking for Likely Alternatives) as well as methodologies of research-based learning, students independently examine selected innovative model projects of sustainable consumption, which they then present to the entire group. Starting from summer semester 2022, the seminar will be offered for four hours per week for the first time - with two hours of lectures and two hours of tutorials each week.

Further information about the course is available in Moses.

Advanced Economics Module (ALMA-WP3)

Climate Crisis, Coronavirus Crisis, Social Crisis? Alternatives between the Green New Deal and Post-Growth Economics

When: Tuesdays, 16 – 18:00

Where: Room MAR 0.015

Content: For more than a decade, the Green New Deal has been under discussion as a program for a social-ecological restructuring of the economy. It recalls the New Deal of 1930s America and was conceived as a reaction to the economic and financial crisis of 2007 and beyond. It dominates current political debate in the USA and the EU and offers a threefold response, firstly to the rapidly increasing awareness of the climate crisis, secondly to the increasing polarization of wealth and economic marginalization of sections of the population, and thirdly and very topically to the economic downturn following the “coronavirus crisis.” We will start off by tracing the history of terms and concepts from the New Deal of the 1930s through to current Green New Deal programs. We will then discuss fundamentals of the Green New Deal, including whether there is a capitalist constraint on growth, the extent to which decoupling economic growth and environmental damage is possible, and whether strategies for “post-growth” and “degrowth” offer an alternative. We will conclude by comparing different current programs for a Green New Deal in Europe and the USA. By the end of the seminar, participants will be qualified to evaluate programs for the social, economic and ecological restructuring of society and adopt a nuanced view of the the alternative proposals for a Green New Deal on both sides of the Atlantic.

Further information about the course is available in Moses.

Work and Sustainability (BA-WP1a)

When: Seminar / lecture: Tuesdays, 16:15 – 17:45

Where: Room MAR 0.015

Content: In this module, students acquire deeper socio-ecological competences, particularly for understanding work in the context of different social and economic science concepts and in the context of sustainable development. The seminar introduces different concepts of work (gainful employment, reproductive work, subsistence work, civic engagement, etc.), discusses the relationship between work and environmental impacts, and finally explores the challenges of changing work models and forms within the socio-ecological transformation towards a “zero-emission society.”
After completing the module, students will be able to explain and critically reflect on the historically changing meanings and different concepts of “work”; explain different forms of work; classify work in the context of sustainable development; explain current socio-ecological challenges related to work and against the background of relevant developments (e.g. globalization and digitalization); and critically reflect on different approaches to address these challenges.
Students are required to develop a “vision” and a comprehensive design for sustainable work in a sustainable society. The module is scheduled for four hours but only two hours per week as a face-to-face seminar. Consequently the conceptual and empirical student projects require a significant amount of time (about 1.5 hours/week) and culminate in presentations at a “sustainability-oriented work exchange” at the end of the semester.

Further information about the course is available in Moses.