What we do

Today, we live in a globalized world with complex problems. Some of the most crucial are environmental problems.

These problems include local institutions world-wide trying to manage common-pool resources like forests, fish, pastures or irrigation systems in an efficient, just and sustainable way. By analysing successful and unsuccessful management attempts we are trying to develop a theoretical framework to ease those efforts. Thus, future generations could be enabled to choose the optimal path.

Other problems affect everyone of us – like climate change and global efforts to stop it.
In our opinion, it won’t be technology alone that will be able to turn that current negative trend around, but a new way of thinking about the world. Most importantly this comprises the most successful ways of cooperation.

This is what is our research is about – how to enhance cooperation. This includes questions like:

  • Under which circumstances are humans willing to cooperate?
  • Which factors advance cooperation, which prevent it?
  • Are there certain mechanisms which are able to trigger altruism and willingness to cooperate?

Answers to these questions are still not fully clear, but a picture has begun to emerge. We would like to contribute to completing that picture.