Research focuses

The Centre of Research for Society and Sustainability (CeSST) pools all research and development resources relating to social sustainability in six core areas of research:

Education and Social Balance

This specialist focus looks at equal opportunities as a key element of social sustainability. Research examines the causes and impact of processes of social inequality and the exclusion of social groups. In particular, research is concerned with educational opportunities, access to training and the labour market.

Community and Regional Development

Research in this field explores the causes and consequences of socio-spatial processes. Segregation within cities and urban areas as well as socio-spatial disparities between differently structured communities (regions) are studied. Research activities seek to identify appropriate strategies to control socio-spatial processes (governance) and test participatory instruments in decision-making processes.

Generational and Gender Equity

Research in this area looks at interactions between social and socio-demographic factors of socially sustainable development, specifically the causes and impact of immigration, the challenges of an ageing society and gender-specific inequality in the context of the welfare state.

Social and Economic Security

This research emphasis looks at how politics, law and economic realities are geared to the societal and, specifically, the social requirements of sustainable development. On the one hand, it examines the social responsibility of organisations (for-profit businesses and social economy enterprises, public administration and other institutions) and how this is addressed by measures in the context of corporate social responsibility / corporate citizenship and corporate volunteering. On the other hand, the research emphasis examines questions about the tasks of an activating (welfare) state, which assumes responsibility both through social measures enforced by politics and law and also by reinforcing the responsibility of the individual.

Quality of life and health

This focus refers to the securing of basic needs that cannot be achieved directly through consumption. Specifically, this means personal fulfilment, happiness (well-being), recognition. Research activities in this field are closely related to questions about the quality of life and participation.

Social Participation

The research focus is a key element of social sustainability and closely is linked to basic needs, equal opportunities and social resources. On the one hand, activities focus on participatory research methods that allow participation at the research stage. On the other hand, it aims at (further) developing instruments and methods of participation, especially of vulnerable social groups.