Our objectives

The HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform is committed to the promotion of good governance. The cornerstone for us is strengthening the legitimacy and sustainability of democratic procedures and decisions.

It is on this basis that we develop concepts and projects in line with our conviction that processes that promote democracy need to be based on multiple perspectives and partnerships on equal footing. Sustainable solutions guided towards the common good must be found in cooperation with a multitude of stakeholders.


For policy guided towards the common good
 Icon Politik RGB - Our objectivesGovernmental policy is legitimized to make decisions that are binding for the whole society through elections in a democracy. It is tasked with finding the balance between different social interests and power potentials and integrating them into new policy. However, there is currently a growing legitimacy deficit of governmental policies and decisions. A large part of citizens does not believe that their interests, positions, or even fears and worries are adequately heard – or even answered in public policies. Rather, governmental policy is often accused of catering to the interests of stakeholders and lobbying groups. Moreover, the ability of state policy to adequately fulfill its tasks is diminishing due to global dependencies and growing social differentiation.

We offer procedures that aim to strengthen democratic processes through transparency and the participation of all relevant stakeholder groups. By incorporating and contrasting numerous, often different, perspectives and by disclosing the justifications of political positions, we highlight consensuses and their implications. This approach allows for political decisions to be guided stronger towards the common good and to be conveyed.

For responsible business
 Icon Wirtschaft RGB - Our objectivesThe business sector is not legitimized through elections. However, it has central social significance and power. The sector is characterized by its right to its interest of own economic success and by the legitimate interest in reliable and favorable market conditions. The economy needs governmental policies, which, in turn, provide protection and security in order for companies to remain successful in a market of fair competition. On the other hand, the economy strives to be as independent as possible. There are reasons for both conflict and cooperation with state policy.

We actively approach business representatives and invite them to contribute their perspective into the political discourse. By addressing different positions and views, we give this sector the opportunity for a deeper understanding of the business environment (e.g. the expectations of civil society towards business). This can improve the insight into the market development for successful investment and risk management.

For participatory civil society
Icon Gesellschaft RGB - Our objectivesOrganized civil society is a major player in social and political innovations. It is from here that civic actors set out to be a corrective of state policy, if the latter’s projects are regarded as failed political developments.
The organized civil society does not depend on elections and does not need to compromise for power in its activities. Organized civil society enjoys high levels of social trust, if it is charitable and transparent. Often it is perceived as putting a spanner in the works of political or entrepreneurial decisions, which in turn can increase transparency. If organized civil society is not involved at all or comes into the decision-making processes too late, this often leads to unnecessary conflicts.We see organized civil society as an essential element of a democratic and participatory society and offer formats to ensure their systematic and timely participation in the run-up to political decisions. As a result, organized civil society can increase its influence on the private and public sectors. This is achieved, among other things, by demanding and promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships in which organized civil society is formally involved as a “partner on equal footing”.

For transdisciplinary science
Icon Wissenschaft RGB - Our objectivesModern societies are subjected to numerous major transformations, for example through climate change, globalization or digitalization. The resulting technical, social, ecological, cultural and economic challenges need scientific expertise and analysis. Academia cannot work out concepts and solutions for societal problems out of its own power and logic – different knowledge types, knowledge bearers and knowledge forms are necessary and can only come from other social groups.

With our offer of transdisciplinary science, we support methodically thought-through participation of society. Transdisciplinarity in this context is more than the combination of different scientific disciplines: here, perspectives lying beyond scientific access are included in research processes to determine socially relevant research questions and fields of action. Scientists receive feedback on their research areas through social actors, who are also bearers of knowledge. Creating a common understanding of problem sets the foundation for transdisciplinary research projects.