Promoting the common good requires that a society is able to agree on basic material and non-material needs. The state, the political order and values provide the framework for such negotiation processes. If there are no common values and no political institutions to facilitate this process peacefully, then there is a risk of conflict developing over the definition of the common good. The crisis of liberal democracy, growing social inequality, state fragility and transnationalisation cause problems of political legitimacy and hinder effective policy-making geared to the common good.
The research programme is investigating the normative and institutional preconditions that explain politics and policy-making oriented towards the common good. It is doing so based on theory-led, comparative empirical analyses. The Research Programme is working with international partners in multidisciplinary teams on the following topics:
At overarching level, the research aims to identify generalisable governance patterns that promote the common good in developing countries. Recognising global interdependencies, the programme takes account at all times of the interplay between transnational, (inter)national, and local factors for explaining different phenomena.
Head of Programme
Democracy is in retreat. Although democratic improvements still occur around the globe, many citizens in both new and established democracies now turn to the authoritarian lure of populist parties that reject basic democratic principles such as minority rights...
Fragility, conflict and displacement pose immense challenges to sustainable development. The number of violent conflicts has doubled in the last decade with every second post-conflict country experiencing renewed conflict and many getting trapped in repeated...
Effective institutions are essential for sustainable development. However, in many countries institutions are weak and financial resources for strengthening them are scarce. Research has found that in order to be strong and legitimate, institutions have to be...