Research Projects

As a Lab, we are committed to collaborative, critical and heterodox scholarship on the governance of nature-society relations. We are interested how societies transform nature and what leverage points can be identified for sustainability shifts. We look into societal dynamics in the urban and beyond and the ways resources (e.g. water or energy) are governed. In particular, we like to expore the relations between the political and the spatial/material.

Starting point and context for our research is that we see nature and society as intertwined and inseperable. Socio-Natures exist of the material world and the practices that constitute them. Being inspired by (urban) Political Ecology and STS we study how power and knowledge plays out in (urban/environmental) governance. 

In terms of ongoing projects, we study the urban through the lens of water in Accra, the politics of energyscapes in British Columbia and Iran, colonial mentalitites in London and processes of infrastructuring that are crafting the Anthropocene.

Here, we list some of the recent funded research projects. Learn more about our research on the sub-pages of the individual team members.

Laufende Forschungsprojekte

MoselAdapTiV - Kommunales Anpassungshandeln an den Klimawandel

Das Projekt „Mosel-AdapTiV“ erforscht in einem transdisziplinären Prozess das Klima­anpassungs­handeln in einer kleinen Stadt an der Mosel. Das Verbundprojekt ist ein kommunales Leuchtturmvorhaben mit der Stadt Traben-Trarbach als Modellkommune. Die Zukunftsfähigkeit der Stadt Traben-Trarbach ist unmittelbar vom Weinbau und Tourismus abhängig – beide Sektoren werden in Zukunft stark durch den Klimawandel betroffen sein. Durch die Verbesserung der Wissensbasis, das Schaffen eines Bewusstseins gegenüber künftigen Klimafolgen, der Reflektion und systematischen Bewertung der Betroffenheit und der gemeinsamen Erarbeitung von Anpassungsmaßnahmen, werden Impulse für kommunales Anpassungshandeln freigesetzt. Langfristiges Ziel ist, dass die Kommunal- und Kreisverwaltung die Risiken und Chancen des Klimawandels systematisch in raumbedeutsamen Planungs-und Entscheidungsprozessen berücksichtigen. Das Projekt ist aus einem studentischen Lehrforschungsprojekt hervorgegangen und wird auch weiterhin eine Brücke zwischen universitärer Ausbildung, Wissenschaft und Praxis bilden.
Laufzeit: 05/2020 - 04/2023
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Centre for Border Studies - Université de la Grande Région

This project is part of the Interreg project "Center for Border Studies" which is a transnational and multidisciplinary network of researchers from the Greater Region who study borders and bordering phenomena and processes from various angles. Within the Interreg project it investigates questions of human-environment interaction and more-than-human connections. Therefore, it will combine border studies with nature-culture relations while using an anthropological lens and theoretical inspiration from assemblage theory as well as sustainability science.
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WaterPower Research Group - Urbanisation and Water in Accra

WaterPower is a laboratory for experimenting novel ways of doing research based on the integration of multiple disciplines, approaches, methods and non-academic knowledge through dialogue and collaboration. We contribute to current debates on society-nature relations by mapping, analysing and understanding processes that unfold in the urban water sphere. Our analysis critically study the interplay of social, ecological, socio-economic, techno-managerial and political processes and how they play out in place and scale.
WaterPower was funded by the BMBF (2014-2020); Website WaterPower
Watch the short animated graphic on the water issues of Accra: