Since its foundation in January 2018, the Research Lab Democracy and Society in Transition dedicates its work to two main research fields: Democracy development and political education as well as health, social affairs and society.
Classic approaches to research should be juxtaposed alongside new methodological approaches and Science to Public projects - not in a competition, but in order to make the diversity of thinking, research and experience comprehensible. In order to strengthen the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of the Research Labs, it cooperates closely with existing departments of the University.
Head: Mag. Dr. Christina Hainzl, MSc
Society, Digitization and Health
To be, to stay, or to become healthy again is not only of personal interest but also important for the societal development itself.
The aim of focusing on this field is to examine the relationship between health and society, with special emphasis on digitization, and to point out perspectives for further development and the (political) need for action.
Technical innovations and social change are closely linked. The way we communicate, treat and deal with health or illness is constantly changing. Innovations open up new possibilities and - if properly used - can make a contribution in which the resilience of social systems strengthen and requirements are met appropriately. As most of these transformation processes are complex they call for inter- and transdisciplinary approaches.
It is the health policy's task to provide comprehensive health care for all people (see for example the Social Charter of the European Union). Digitization brings a number of opportunities and challenges in this area as well. The Lab grapples with the question how we deal with these opportunities and obstacles, and which perspectives can be found to take action.
Global Health Policy
Global Health Policy (GHP) has increased in importance in the last two decades, as a field of study, research, and practice. However, until now it was not possible in academic circles to agree on a common definition.
From an epidemiological perspective, global health policy is concerned with health problems where the causes or remedies are outside of the competencies of nation states. In a narrower sense, it aims to foster the health and health equality of all people. The term is derived from the terms “public health” and “international health”, although the latter has its origins in hygiene and tropical medicine and has been largely supplanted by the term “global”.
The basis of global health policy is formed by an equally broad and differentiated understanding of policymaking. At the same time, it is predominantly about evening-up health disparities within societies, as well as at the national level and between the Global South and the Global North.
Democracy, Political Communication and Political Education
The projects address current issues of the political framework for social development, the critical discourse on democracy and participation, including their quantitative research and regional provision.
In addition, it should be shown where social action and prevention can improve social coexistence and social peace.
The Research Lab also offers dissertation programs in the fields of politics and regional development.