Universität Hamburg is the biggest and most diverse research center in Northern Germany. Its research profile consists of five core research areas, five emerging fields as well as high quality individual research based on profile initiatives and individual research.
The researchers of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences participate in core research areas and emerging fields. In addition, our researchers are currently participating in several profile initiatives. Profile initiatives are characterized by cross-faculty research on topics that could expand into emerging fields in the coming years through the acquisition of third-party funding. There is also a large number of projects involving individual research of the professorships.
Research at the faculty is interdisciplinary. Based on the principles of Universität Hamburg as a “University of Sustainability”, our researchers work intensively on sustainability and its social, economic and reflexive dimensions and perspectives. Examples of these themes are sustainable finance, Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainable cities and mobility, managing grand challenges, welfare provision, public goods, intergenerational justice, resilience or science studies. Interdisciplinary research on sustainability within the faculty was strengthened by a cluster appointment (2015 and 2016) and other strategic appointments. In September 2019, the DFG funded Center for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (Kolleg-Forschungsgruppe) “Futures of Sustainability” commenced its work. Since 2022, members of the faculty are participating in inter-university research within the framework of the DFG research training group “Urban Future-Making: Professional agency across time and scale”. Under the leadership of the HCU and in cooperation with the TUHH, the researchers address current topics such as urban growth, climate change and resource exploitation. Several researchers at WiSo faculty have become ambassadors of the UN’s Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of strengthening the topic of sustainability at Universität Hamburg, of developing academic contributions to the SDGs, of pointing out intersections between the goals and at the same time encouraging critical reflection on the SDGs. In addition, the Center for Sustainable Society Research (CSS) aims to broaden the understanding of social and economic institutions and processes of modern societies with regard to sustainability. The common focus of research at the CSS is on the conditions and perspectives of a "society of sustainability" that combines ecological responsibility with a focus on social justice and democratic legitimacy.
In the following, you will find a selection of core research areas, emerging fields and profile initiatives involving researchers from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
Core research areas with participation from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
Core research areas are the result of long-standing and high quality research and present relevant interdisciplinary research initiatives at Universität Hamburg. They promote cooperation between departments, faculties, universities and non-university institutions through their academic excellence and the wide range of their themes. Researchers of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences are active in the following core research areas.
Climate, Earth, Environment
Which climate scenarios are possible? Which ones are plausible? How likely is the limitation of global warming on 2° or even better 1.5° Celsius? Researchers of our faculty are currently handling similar questions.
Between 2007 and 2018, the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences was involved in the Cluster of Excellence “Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction” (CliSAP) and thereby in the core research area “Climate, earth, environment”.
Based on the previous successes, the interdisciplinary Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS)” received funding in the Excellence Strategy in September 2018. The Cluster of Excellence has strengthened basic social and economic research on climate change and interdisciplinary research cooperation between natural sciences and social sciences. In addition to Universität Hamburg, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, the Helmholtz Center Geesthacht and the German Climate Computing Center are participating in the cluster. Cooperation with other social science research institutions has also been strengthened in the cluster, in particular with the German Institute for Global and Area Study (GIGA) and the Institute for Pease Research and Security Policy (IFSH).
In addition, many third-party (DFG, EU, federal funding) funded projects of the researchers from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences are part of the core research area “Climate, Earth, Environment”.
Further Information about the core research area “Climate, Earth, Environment” can be found here.
Emerging fields with participation from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
Emerging fields are characterized by high quality research and show the potential to develop into core research areas in the foreseeable future. An emerging field consists of at least one large collaborative research project and one or two collaborative research centers (SFBs). The Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences is involved in the following emerging fields.
Important questions in health economics and health management characterize the emerging field of “Health Economics”. These questions are being researched across faculties and disciplines, specifically at the Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE). To provide scientifically sound recommendations for political decision-makers, numerous empirical methods and theoretical approaches of health economics are being applied. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has funded the HCHE as one of four centers on health economic research in Germany. Researchers from the Department of Economics and the Department of Socioeconomics are involved in the emerging field “Health Economics”.
Grounds, Norms, Decisions
In the emerging field “Grounds, Norms, Decisions”, economists, political scientists and philosophers are conducting research on causal relationships. The focus is on causality, metaphysical explanations and epistemic reasons, as well as on collective decision-making, where both the interaction between procedures and outcomes of collective decision-making and their normative evaluation are investigated. In addition to basic research, this emerging field contributes to the analysis of socially relevant problems such as policies counteracting climate change or the design of democratic decision-making procedures.
The Department of Economics and the Subject Area “Political Science” at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences as well as the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities are involved. Moreover, individual researchers from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Law participate in this emerging field. They bring together a globally visible expertise in the field, which allows for fruitful interdisciplinary research transcending disciplinary boundaries on methods and content. The interdisciplinary DFG Research Training Group "Collective Decision-Making", two Emmy Noether groups at the Department of Philosophy on “Knowledge and Decision and Relevance”, the DFG research group “Need-Based Justice and Distribution Procedures“ and the EU Horizon 2020 joint project “DEMOS“, both at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, contribute to the emerging field and its visibility. The research-oriented, international and interdisciplinary Master’s programme “Politics, Economics and Philosophy” is an important pillar in the area of teaching and talent development.
Law in Global Contexts
In the emerging field “Law in Global Contexts”, researchers from the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences are examining the effects of globalization on societies as well as on international institutions. Legal scholars from the Department of Socioeconomics and political scientists from the Department of Social Sciences, both at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, are involved in this emerging field. Important topics are the role of migration, gender equality, religion and culture in a globalized world. Further information can be found on the website of the Faculty of Law.
Profile initiatives with participation from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
There are many different profile initiatives at the university. These are characterised by high-quality research and are regarded as the basis for new joint initiatives. Currently, the profile initiatives are being developed under the leadership of various faculty und inter-faculty research groups. The profile initiatives “Work and Social Change” (Arbeit und Sozialer Wandel) and “Violence and Security Research” (Gewalt- und Sicherheitsforschung) are developed with the substantial participation of researchers from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences. You find below first impressions of the content of the individual initiatives with a participation of researchers from our faculty:
Labor and Social Change
The profile initiative "Labor and Social Change" examines how the current changes in labor can be characterized and explained and what consequences they have for social inequality. The focus is on forms of work organization in businesses, the functioning of labor markets, macroeconomic factors and welfare state framework conditions. These are analyzed in the light of technological, socio-economic and cultural developments.
Nineteen researchers from the fields of business administration, sociology, political science and economics take part in the profile initiative. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Menz, Prof. Dr. Miriam Beblo and Prof. Dr. Henning Lohmann act as spokespersons of the profile initiative within our faculty.
Violence and Security
The members of the profile initiative “Violence and Security” at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences (WiSo) investigate questions of security and insecurity against the backdrop of growing political and societal polarisation, rapid digital transformation, increasing uncertainty, and an intensifying extinction of natural resources. The researchers from the disciplines of political science, sociology, criminology, and communication studies develop the faculty’s profile initiative in three research fields: emerging landscapes of security and international peace orders, narratives of public insecurity and radicalization, and contested norms, principles and rights in global conflicts.
Further information about the profile initiative Violence and Security.
Marketing and Communication
Literacy in Diversity Settings/Linguistic Diversity
Mechanisms of Change
The profile initiative "Mechanisms of Change" is mainly carried out at the Faculty of Psychology and Human Movement. In the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences researchers from the fields of business administration, sociology and political science participate.
In addition to being embedded in cross-faculty profile initiatives, emerging fields and core research areas, the researchers of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences conduct excellent research on a wide range of individual topics. Further information on the projects can be found in detail on the pages of the respective professorships.