The Institute of Economics and its Research Concept

Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung is a new type of university that combines scientific knowledge with practical knowledge to solve real problems and enable students to act responsibly. Hence, in the German university landscape, we uniquely stand for critical, pluralist and socially relevant research and teaching that goes beyond the mission of traditional technical college and university.

Our research integrates those actors immediately involved in problem situations and cooperates with other scientists, scholars, non-governmental organizations and political decision-makers – always with the aim of jointly expanding the possibilities of creative imagination and responsible action instead of detached, purely ‘objective’ research.


Our members work consistently in interdisciplinary settings and in dialogue with social actors. Our vision is an economic science that comprehensively lives up to its social responsibility and, as a condition of this, understands its effects on practice.

Our mission is therefore to explore and provide a foundation for the role of education, knowledge, imagination and insight in science and society. To this end, we orient our research and teaching towards current issues of society, which explicitly include social and ecological concerns, instead of one-sided orientation towards the interests of politics and business.


In terms of methodology, Cusanus Hochschule is working on a new scientific understanding of economics that does not exclude mathematical-experimental methods, but knows how to embed them in an overall framework of qualitative and participatory research. Against this background, we want to become a place of reflection for researchers, students, and social designers, which itself does not unilaterally advocate a certain direction of theory, but rather enables a dialogue between different points of view in the struggle for common solutions.

As a result, our research focuses on:

  • How has academic knowledge contributed to the knowledge that guides our actions today?
  • What are the historical and socio-cultural connections between theory and practice?
  • What theoretical worldviews shape the imaginary worlds of individuals and societies, and how can these be creatively changed?

In addition to deep philosophical reflection, we work on the concrete, pressing issue of how to shape society. Our research is direct toward:

  • exploring the aspects of, and the necessary political framework conditions for, transforming capitalism towards a sustainable economy;
  • the establishment of a public-spirited economy to overcome the economization of ever greater areas of our society, and
  • promoting an economy that is embedded in democratic structures and makes societies resilient against populism and authoritarian forms of rule.