About the Faculty
The Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences brings together the disciplines of Economics, Sociology, and Political Science. The three disciplines co-operate in the analysis of economic, political and social institutions as the framework shaping actors’ behaviour and interactions.
The Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences consists of
- Alfred-Weber-Institute for Economics (AWI) with the Research Centre for Environmental Economics (RCEE)
- Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology (MWI) with the Centre for Social Investment (CSI).
- Institute of Political Science (IPW)
- the sections of Economics and Political Science at the South Asia Institute
- the chair of American Studies at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA)
The Alfred Weber Institute of Economics covers the central areas of economics with focuses on the following specific fields: behavioural economics, public economics and political economy, labour and human capital, money and financing, development and environmental economics. Development economics is closely connected to the SAI, and a research centre has been established for environmental economics. Economists at the AWI use rigorous micro and macro-econometric analyses to inform policy-makers. Researchers have been very successful in providing policy advice for a number of international organizations, such as the OECD and the World Bank, governments in several transition countries of Asia and the Balkans and federal ministries and agencies including the Federal Ministry of the Economy and Energy, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Employment Agency.
The Institute of Political Science focuses on the analysis of political systems, policies and governance, foreign policy and international relation, inter/intra-national conflicts, and political theory. Special attention is given to comparative research that cuts across the subdisciplines of political science. In respect to a regional focus, the institute primarily deals with democracies of the West, European nations as well as developing countries. Another emphasis is on Latin America, East and South Asia.
The Max Weber Institute of Sociology takes an explicit cultural science orientation, which follows in the tradition of Max Weber. Structure, legitimation and collapse of institutions in regards to sectoral, national and transnational constellations (especially Europeanization) take center stage. There is a special interest in the social welfare state in a comparative perspective, while another priority is the discussion of theory. There is an interdisciplinary research department affiliated with the institute that is specialized in civil society and non-profit research (the Centre for Social Investment).