Social and Cognitive Sciences with a Special Focus on Inequality Research

Research in the social and cognitive sciences at the University of Konstanz is strongly interdisciplinary. It explores the social and cognitive aspects of human behaviour as well as decision-making processes in politics and society more broadly conceived. This research field has been invigorated by the establishment of the Graduate School of Decision Sciences (GSDS), which has been funded in the German Excellence Initiative since 2012 and is set to be further developed in the context of the new Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Preferences” (EXC 2035).

In this cluster, political scientists, economists, sociologists, empirical educational researcherslinguists, information scientists and psychologists work together to develop a better understanding of the political dimensions of inequality, addressing questions such as: Under which conditions is inequality perceived as a social problem? When do these perceptions translate into political mobilization and participation? And to what extent are public demands and preferences relevant for processes of policy-making? Main empirical areas of research include the perception of inequality in education and labour markets, the study of inequalities in income and wealth, the impact of institutions on socio-economic inequality as well as the integration and mobilization of ethnic minorities in democratic and non-democratic countries.