What will follow the coal exit? Lusatia is entering an era of far-reaching change.
What will follow the coal exit? Lusatia is entering an era of far-reaching change. AdobeStock/Imaginis

Headline: Regional Sustainability Transformations

The transition to the Post-fossil Age is generating social, economic, and political tensions. Entire regions, economic sectors, and policy fields must be realigned to reflect the ambition of fostering sustainability on a regional and global scale. The research group "Social Transformation and Policy Advice in Lusatia" studies the socio-political implications of this transformation.

The group performs research and develops guidance for transformation processes such as the coal phase-out in the German region of Lusatia. Among its central research questions: What does the loss of industries that have shaped a region over decades mean for its social and economic structures? What cultural identities, perceptions and points of view are rooted in this industrial heritage? How can inequalities, for example between urban and rural areas, be addressed in the context of transformations? How can citizens contribute to the transformation of their living and working environments?

This interdisciplinary research group identifies the limits to and potentials for a cooperative transition to post-fossil societies. IASS researchers identify development pathways together with affected actors and provide scientific advice and support to policymakers, administrative bodies, and civil society.

The insights gained through this co-creative practice inform a concept of transformative research that invites critical reflection on the roles and effects of scientific research within processes of structural transformation. Different forms of knowledge are created in interaction with relevant actors and must be systematically understood and reflected upon. In doing so, researchers can take on a critical, facilitative and catalytic role, ensuring that the transition to the Post-fossil Age offers opportunities to foster a more just society.


Social Transformation and Policy Advice in Lusatia

How is life in Lusatia set to change with the end of its coal-mining industry? What opportunities for sustainable social and economic dynamics does this present? And what can be done to ensure that the transformation of the region is democratic and fair? This project investigates processes of change in Lusatia and offers support and guidance to political and civil society actors in this context.

Evaluation of the "Forum Covid-19" Citizens' Assembly in Saxony

The "Forum Covid-19" Citizens' Assembly brings together 50 randomly selected people in Saxony to discuss their experiences with the pandemic and the government's response. The citizens' assembly will develop its recommendations for policymakers in several meetings between now and spring 2022. The IASS and the nexus Institute are conducting an accompanying evaluation of the Corona Forum.