The CSS is a research center of the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences at Universität Hamburg. Research at CSS is interdisciplinary and aims to understand ongoing social, political and economic reconfigurations of modern societies with respect to issues of sustainability and climate change. The center is particularly involved with the reconfigurations induced by climate change, considered a central driver for sustainability transformations.
The CSS carries out research on the forms of such reconfigurations (path-dependent or disruptive, politically induced or unintended), its dimensions (social, cultural, economic, political, ecological, scientific, and technical), drivers (globalization and its effects, climate change and ecological crises, scientific knowledge, scientific policy advice and technological change) and (unintended) consequences (on social inequality and cohesion, work, environmental conflicts, and democratic institutions).
A common vanishing point of research at the CSS pertains to the conditions for, and prospects of, a “society of sustainability,” which would combine ecological responsibility with a focus on social equity and democratic legitimacy.
The CSS researches these reconfigurations towards sustainability by dynamically adapting its research focus. In the coming years, the primary focus of the CSS’s research will be in the fields of: Financial Markets, Policymaking and (Global) Governance, and Communication and Public Spheres.
|Find out more about the CSS’ key research subjects.
You can find the research questions adressed by the CSS below. The questions contain links to the research groups that are particulary engaged with answering the question.
When societies engage in sustainability transformations, what forms of change - as well as new inequalities, antagonisms and conflicts - emerge?
Which actors, instruments and mechanisms are central to the implementation of sustainability transformations, and how can such implementations be enhanced?
Find out more about the working group(s) trying to answer this question:
Can tendencies towards polarization and social segregation as a result of changes due to sustainability transformations be identified, or, to the contrary, are these changes accompanied by new aspirations for equality and democratic participation?
What role do public debates play in transformations towards a sustainable society?
What are the main characteristics, drivers and consequences of the processes of unforeseen disruptions currently at play in various areas of contemporary societies?
How can the conceptual vocabulary and analytical toolbox of different social science disciplines be enriched to better capture the dynamics of unforeseen disruptions?
The scientists at the CSS work together in temporary working groups, where they constantly contribute to and develop the key research topics. Through this innovative collaboration among the members of the CSS, the spectrum of topics is constantly expanding and evolving.
|Find out more about the working groups currently active at CSS.
Members of the CSS currently contribute to a range of research projects funded by renowned research funding bodies.
|Find out more about the research projects at CSS.
The CSS hosts international research fellows that contribute to the CSS research foci and build an important backdrop for discussion.
|Find out more about the research fellows at CSS.
Working Paper Series
The CSS has launched a Working Paper Series in 2020 that welcomes papers on all aspects connected with the research focus of the center and gives authors a chance to increase the circulation, visibility, and impact of their research.
|Find out more about the CSS Working Paper Series.