The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Environmental Sciences Bachelor Information
Bachelor Studies (Programme Regulations 2011)
Social Sciences and Humanities Module
Module Economics
Compulsory Courses
363-0387-00LCorporate SustainabilityO3 credits2GV. Hoffmann
AbstractThe lectures addresses the assessment of corporate sustainability and its links to strategy, technology, and finance. Students learn why sustainability matters for managers and how businesses can act towards it. E-modules allow students to train critical thinking skills. In the 2nd half of the semester, sustainability challenges on water, energy, mobility, and food are explored in group projects.
ObjectiveUnderstand the limits and the potential of corporate sustainability for sustainable development

Develop critical thinking skills (argumentation, communication, evaluative judgment) that are useful in the context of corporate sustainability using an innovative writing and peer review method.

Be able to recognize and realize opportunities for corporate sustainability in a business environment
ContentOverview of the key concepts of corporate sustainability and topics related to Water, Energy, Mobility, and Food

Business implications of sustainable development, in particular for the assessment of sustainability performance, strategic change towards sustainability, technological innovations and sustainability, and finance and corporate sustainability.
Critical thinking skills for corporate sustainability.
In-depth case studies of corporate sustainability challenges in the track phase: How to deal with environmental pressure groups? How to use the strengths of business to solve pressing sustainability problems? How to catalyze technological innovations for sustainability? How to invest money in a sustainable way?
Lecture notesPresentation slides will be made available on moodle prior to lectures.
LiteratureLiterature recommendations will be distributed during the lecture
751-1551-00LRessourcen- und Umweltökonomie Information O3 credits2VL. Bretschger, A. Müller
AbstractRelationship between economy and environment, market failure, external effects and public goods, contingent valuation, internalisation of externalities; economics of non-renewable resources, economics of renewable resources, cost-benefit analysis, sustainability, and international aspects of resource and environmental economics.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of the basic issues and methods in resource and environmental economics; ability to solve typical problems in the field using the appropriate tools, which are concise verbal explanations, diagrams or mathematical expressions.

Topics are:
Introduction to resource and environmental economics
Importance of resource and environmental economics
Main issues of resource and environmental economics
Normative basis
Fairness according to Rawls
Economic growth and environment
Externalities in the environmental sphere
Governmental internalisation of externalities
Private internalisation of externalities: the Coase theorem
Free rider problem and public goods
Types of public policy
Efficient level of pollution
Tax vs. permits
Command and Control Instruments
Empirical data on non-renewable natural resources
Optimal price development: the Hotelling-rule
Effects of exploration and Backstop-technology
Effects of different types of markets.
Biological growth function
Optimal depletion of renewable resources
Social inefficiency as result of over-use of open-access resources
Cost-benefit analysis and the environment
Measuring environmental benefit
Measuring costs
Concept of sustainability
Technological feasibility
Conflicts sustainability / optimality
Indicators of sustainability
Problem of climate change
Cost and benefit of climate change
Climate change as international ecological externality
International climate policy: Kyoto protocol
Implementation of the Kyoto protocol in Switzerland
ContentEconomy and natural environment, welfare concepts and market failure, external effects and public goods, measuring externalities and contingent valuation, internalising external effects and environmental policy, economics of non-renewable resources, renewable resources, cost-benefit-analysis, sustainability issues, international aspects of resource and environmental problems, selected examples and case studies.
Lecture notesThe script and lecture material are provided at:
LiteraturePerman, R., Ma, Y., McGilvray, J, Common, M.: "Natural Resource & Environmental Economics", 3d edition, Longman, Essex 2003.
Core Courses
701-0763-00LBasic Concepts of ManagementW2 credits2VR. Schwarzenbach
AbstractThis course deals with fundamental and proven management concepts. The lecturers emphasize the pracitcal applicability of concepts. The course was designed in close cooperation with practitioneers; e.g. will Mr. S. Baldenweg, mechanical engineer ETH, MBA Insead, share his experience in several guest lectures.
• will be familiar with basic general management concepts.
• learn about the fundamental concepts of strategy development with practical examples.
• will get to know the basic organisational issues and the essential types of organisations.
• get a rough overview on the concepts of financial management.
• will learn about the strategic positionining of small departments within larger organisations.
• will learn about the fundamental mechanisms for handling change, and will be able to recognise these situations.
• will learn the basic principles of project management and of successful self-management.
• will reflect on customer oriented information representation.
ContentManagement ist ein Massenberuf der durch klare Aufgaben und entsprechenden Werkzuge beschrieben werden kann. Die Positionierung einer Firma, oder eines Bereiches bedingt die Analyse des Umfeldes und die Befassung mit den zukünftigen Herausforderungen. Dazu werden verschiedene Ansätze gezeigt und die grundlegenden Denkmuster vermittelt. Für die Umsetzung einer Strategie muss die Zusammenarbeit von Menschen entsprechend organisiert werden. Dazu werden die wesentlichen Organisationsmodelle und die Dynamik von Organisationen vermittelt.
Die finanzielle Abbildung von Organisationen und Projekten wird übersichtsweise dargestellt und die stufengerechte Darstellung von Informationen anhand von realen Beispielen besprochen.
Die Inhalte werden durchgängig mit Praxisbeispielen illustriert.
Lecture notesSkripten werden elektronisch zur Verfügung gestellt.
LiteratureEmpfohlen werden folgende Titel für die Vertiefung einzelner Themen:

Drucker P. 1964: „Managing for Results”, Harper Collins Publishers“, 240 p.

Malik F. 2005: "Führen, Leisten, Leben. Wirksames Management für eine neue Zeit. ", Heyne, 408p.

Mintzberg H. et al. 2001: “Strategy Safari. The Complete guide through the wilds of strategic management: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management”, Finanical Times, 416 p.

Osterwalder A., Pigneur Y. 2010: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, wiley, 278 p
Prerequisites / NoticeDeutsch
151-0757-00LEnvironmental ManagementW2 credits2GR. Züst
AbstractAn environmental management system has the objective to continuously improve the environmental performance of the activities, products and services of a company. The company has to introduce different management procedures. The goal of this lecture is to provide basics and specific procedure to implement the environmental dimension in the planning and decision making processes of an organisation.
ObjectiveOverview on environmental management and environmental management systems, general methods and principles.
ContentIntroduction to environmental mangement / environmental
management systems, energy and material flows; economical and
ecological problems in industry; charakterisation of an
enterprise (incl. management handbook); structur and contents of an
environmental management system; overview on the ISO 14001 ff. series; methodes for environmental evaluation and assessment; integrated management systems; planning methodology and life-cycle-design
design; planning exampl
Lecture notesInformation about environmental management and environmental
management systems will be provided by a CD or mail.
Literaturea list with literatures and links will be provided
Prerequisites / NoticeDelivery of a case study, worked out in groups. Language: Teaching in English on request.
351-0778-00LDiscovering Management
Entry level course in management for BSc, MSc and PHD students at all levels not belonging to D-MTEC. This course can be complemented with Discovering Management (Excercises) 351-0778-01.
W3 credits3GB. Clarysse, M. Ambühl, S. Brusoni, E. Fleisch, G. Grote, V. Hoffmann, P. Schönsleben, G. von Krogh, F. von Wangenheim
AbstractDiscovering Management offers an introduction to the field of business management and entrepreneurship for engineers and natural scientists. The module provides an overview of the principles of management, teaches knowledge about management that is highly complementary to the students' technical knowledge, and provides a basis for advancing the knowledge of the various subjects offered at D-MTEC.
ObjectiveDiscovering Management combines in an innovate format a set of lectures and an advanced business game. The learning model for Discovering Management involves 'learning by doing'. The objective is to introduce the students to the relevant topics of the management literature and give them a good introduction in entrepreneurship topics too. The course is a series of lectures on the topics of strategy, innovation, corporate finance, leadership, design thinking and corporate social responsibility. While the 14 different lectures provide the theoretical and conceptual foundations, the experiential learning outcomes result from the interactive business game. The purpose of the business game is to analyse the innovative needs of a large multinational company and develop a business case for the company to grow. This business case is as relevant to someone exploring innovation within an organisation as it is if you are planning to start your own business. By discovering the key aspects of entrepreneurial management, the purpose of the course is to advance students' understanding of factors driving innovation, entrepreneurship, and company success.
ContentDiscovering Management aims to broaden the students' understanding of the principles of business management, emphasizing the interdependence of various topics in the development and management of a firm. The lectures introduce students not only to topics relevant for managing large corporations, but also touch upon the different aspects of starting up your own venture. The lectures will be presented by the respective area specialists at D-MTEC.
The course broadens the view and understanding of technology by linking it with its commercial applications and with society. The lectures are designed to introduce students to topics related to strategy, corporate innovation, leadership, corporate and entrepreneurial finance, value chain analysis, corporate social responsibility, and business model innovation. Practical examples from industry experts will stimulate the students to critically assess these issues. Creative skills will be trained by the business game exercise, a participant-centered learning activity, which provides students with the opportunity to place themselves in the role of Chief Innovation Officer of a large multinational company. As they learn more about the specific case and identify the challenge they are faced with, the students will have to develop an innovative business case for this multinational corporation. Doing so, this exercise will provide an insight into the context of managerial problem-solving and corporate innovation, and enhance the students' appreciation for the complex tasks companies and managers deal with. The business game presents a realistic model of a company and provides a valuable learning platform to integrate the increasingly important development of the skills and competences required to identify entrepreneurial opportunities, analyse the future business environment and successfully respond to it by taking systematic decisions, e.g. critical assessment of technological possibilities.
Prerequisites / NoticeDiscovering Management is designed to suit the needs and expectations of Bachelor students at all levels as well as Master and PhD students not belonging to D-MTEC. By providing an overview of Business Management, this course is an ideal enrichment of the standard curriculum at ETH Zurich.
No prior knowledge of business or economics is required to successfully complete this course.
351-0778-01LDiscovering Management (Exercises)
Complementary exercises for the module Discovering Managment.

Prerequisite: Participation and successful completion of the module Discovering Management (351-0778-00L) is mandatory.
W1 credit1UB. Clarysse, L. De Cuyper
AbstractThis course is offered complementary to the basis course 351-0778-00L, "Discovering Management". The course offers additional exercises and case studies.
ObjectiveThis course is offered to complement the course 351-0778-00L. The course offers additional exercises and case studies.
ContentThe course offers additional exercises and case studies concering:
Strategic Management; Technology and Innovation Management; Operations and Supply Chain Management; Finance and Accounting; Marketing and Sales.

Please refer to the course website for further information on the content, credit conditions and schedule of the module:
363-0503-00LPrinciples of MicroeconomicsW3 credits2GM. Filippini
AbstractThe course introduces basic principles, problems and approaches of microeconomics.
ObjectiveThe learning objectives of the course are:

(1) Students must be able to discuss basic principles, problems and approaches in microeconomics. (2) Students can analyse and explain simple economic principles in a market using supply and demand graphs. (3) Students can contrast different market structures and describe firm and consumer behaviour. (4) Students can identify market failures such as externalities related to market activities and illustrate how these affect the economy as a whole. (5) Students can apply simple mathematical treatment of some basic concepts and can solve utility maximization and cost minimization problems.
Lecture notesLecture notes, exercises and reference material can be downloaded from Moodle.
LiteratureN. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2014), "Economics", 3rd edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.
The book can also be used for the course 'Principles of Macroeconomics' (Sturm)

For students taking only the course 'Principles of Microeconomics' there is a shorter version of the same book:
N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2014), "Microeconomics", 3rd edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.

1. R. Pindyck and D. Rubinfeld (2012), "Microeconomics", 8th edition, Pearson Education.
2. Varian, H.R. (2014), "Intermediate Microeconomics", 9th edition, Norton & Company
751-1101-00LFinances and Accounting SystemW2 credits2GM. Dumondel
AbstractTo understand accounting as a component of the complex system of the enterprise
ObjectiveTo understand accounting not as an isolated discipline, but as a part of the complex system of the enterprise
ContentAccounting system as a part of management economics.
The different steps for scheduling and evaluation of the accountancy will be studied. The main part of the lecture is dedicated to the financial accounting – nevertheless the fundamentals of the internal cost-accounting will also be presented. The lecture will also include the clarification of concrete cases and the calculation of practical exercises.
Lecture notesCourse documentation and specified educational books
LiteratureIn the lecture one indicates
851-0626-01LInternational Aid and Development
Does not take place this semester.
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of economics
W2 credits2VI. Günther
AbstractThe course gives economic and empirical foundations for a sound understanding of the instruments, prospects and limitations of international development aid.
ObjectiveStudents have a theoretically and empirically sound understanding of the prospects and limitations of international development aid. Students are able to critically discuss the various aid instruments of bi-and multilateral donors and NGOs.
ContentIntroduction to the Determinants of Underdevelopment; History of Aid; Aid and Development: Theories and Empirics; Political Economy of Aid; Experience and Impact of Aid; New Instruments of Aid: e.g. Micro-Finance, Budget-Support; Fair-Trade.
LiteratureArticles and book abstracts will be uploaded to a course website.
Module Political and Social Sciences
Compulsory Courses
701-0747-00LEnvironmental Policy of Switzerland IO3 credits2VE. Lieberherr
AbstractThis course presents the basics of policy analysis and the specific characteristics of Swiss environmental policy. Policy instruments, actors and processes are addressed both theoretically as well as by means of current Swiss environmental policy examples.
ObjectiveBeyond acquiring basic knowledge about policy analysis, this course teaches students how to analytically address current and concrete questions of environmental policy. Through exercises the students learn about political science concepts and frameworks as well as real-life political decision-making processes. The well-grounded examination of complex political conflict situations is an important precondition for the entry into the (environmental policy) workforce or a future research career.
ContentThe processes of change, overuse or destruction of the natural environment through humans have historically placed high demands on social and political institutions. In the interplay between the environment, society and economy, the environmental policy field encompasses the sum of public measures that have the goal to eliminate, reduce or avoid environmental degradation. The course systematically presents the basics of environmental policy instruments, actors, programs and processes as well as their change over time. A key aspect is the distinction between politics and political science and specifically environmental policy.
Lecture notesInstead of lecture notes different texts on policy analysis and Swiss environmental policy are made available to the students.
LiteratureThe lecture is based on the following book to be published in the summer of 2016:
Ingold, K., Lieberherr, E., Schläpfer, I., Steinmann, K. und Zimmermann, W. Umweltpolitik der Schweiz: ein Lehrbuch. Zürich: Dike Verlag.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe detailed semester program (syllabus) is made available to the students at the beginning of the semester.
851-0577-00LPrinciples of Political ScienceO4 credits2V + 1US. Mohrenberg, Q. Nguyen
AbstractThis course covers the basic questions, concepts, theories, methods, and empirical findings of political science.
ObjectiveThis course covers the basic questions, concepts, theories, methods, and empirical findings of political science.
ContentDer Kurs ist in zwei Teile gegliedert. Im ersten Teil erhalten die Teilnehmenden eine Einführung in die Wissenschaftstheorie, den Ablauf politikwissenschaftlicher Forschung, den Aufbau eines Forschungsdesigns und die Methodik der empirischen Sozialwissenschaften. Hier geht es primär darum zu zeigen wie PolitikwissenschaftlerInnen denken und arbeiten. Der zweite Teil des Kurses widmet sich zwei zentralen Teilbereichen der Politikwissenschaft: der Analyse politischer Systeme und den internationalen Beziehungen. Der Schwerpunkt dieses zweiten Teils liegt auf der Analyse politischer Systeme sowie den wichtigsten politischen Akteuren und der Beschaffenheit und Wirkung politischer Institutionen. Zur Veranschaulichung der behandelten Konzepte und Theorien gehen wir schwergewichtig und vergleichend auf die politischen Systeme Deutschlands, Österreichs und der Schweiz ein. Der Teilbereich der internationalen Beziehungen wird nur kursorisch behandelt, da dieser Teilbereich Inhalt einer Folgeveranstaltung im Frühlingssemester (Internationale Politik, Prof. Schimmelfennig) ist.

Zur Vorlesung wird ein Tutorat (Uebung) angeboten. Darin werden die zentralen Konzepte, Methoden und Themen der Vorlesung geübt und vertieft. Die Teilnahme am Tutorat ist integraler Bestandteil des Kurses. Der im Tutorat behandelte Stoff ist Bestandteil der Prüfungen.
Lecture notesThis course is based on the following textbook:
"Politikwissenschaft: Grundlagen" by Thomas Bernauer, Patrick Kuhn, Stefanie Walter and Detlef Jahn (Nomos, 2015, 3nd Edition).
LiteratureThis course is based on the following textbook:
"Politikwissenschaft: Grundlagen" by Thomas Bernauer, Patrick Kuhn, Stefanie Walter and Detlef Jahn (Nomos, 2015, 3nd Edition).
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents attending this course and passing the required tests (one in the middle, the other at the end of the semester) will obtain 4 ECTS credit points.
Core Courses
701-0727-00LPolitics of Environmental Problem Solving in Developing CountriesW2 credits2GU. Scheidegger
AbstractThe course focuses on processes and drivers of decision-making on natural resources management issues in developing countries. It gives insights into the relevance of ecological aspects in developing countries. It covers concepts, instruments, processes and actors in environmental politics at the example of specific environmental challenges of global importance.
ObjectiveAfter completion of the module, students will be able to:
- Identify and appraise ecological aspects in development cooperation, development policies and developing countries' realities
- Analyze the forces, components and processes, which influence the design, the implementation and the outcome of ecological measures
- Characterize concepts, instruments and drivers of environmental politics and understand, how policies are shaped, both at national level and in multilateral negotiations
- Study changes (improvements) in environmental politics over time as the result of the interaction of processes and actors, including international development organizations
- Analyze politics and design approaches to influence them, looking among others at governance, social organization, legal issues and institutions
ContentKey issues and basic concepts related to environmental politics are introduced. Then the course predominantly builds on case studies, providing information on the context, specifying problems and potentials, describing processes, illustrating the change management, discussing experiences and outcomes, successes and failures. The analysis of the cases elucidates factors for success and pitfalls in terms of processes, key elements and intervention strategies.

Different cases not only deal with different environmental problems, but also focus on different levels and degrees of formality. This ranges from local interventions with resource user groups as key stakeholders, to country level policies, to multi- and international initiatives and conventions. Linkages and interaction of the different system levels are highlighted. Special emphasis is given to natural resources management.

The cases address the following issues:
- Land use and soil fertility enhancement: From degradation to sustainable use
- Common property resource management (forest and pasture): Collective action and property rights, community-based management
- Ecosystem health (integrated pest management, soil and water conservation)
- Payment for environmental services: Successes in natural resources management
- Climate change and agriculture: Adaptation and mitigation possibilities
- Biodiversity Convention: Implications for conservations and access to genetic resources
- Biodiversity as a means for more secure livelihoods: Agroforestry and intercropping
- The Millennium Development Goals: Interactions between poverty and the environment
- Poverty and natural resources management: Poverty reduction strategies, the view of the poor themselves
- Food security: Policies, causes for insecurity, the role of land grabbing
- Biofuels and food security: Did politics misfire?
- Strategy development at global level: IAASTD and World Development Report 2008
Lecture notesInformation concerning the case studies and specific issues illustrated therein will be provided during the course (uploaded on Moodle)
LiteratureRobbins P, 2004. Political ecology: a critical introduction. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, 242 p.

Peet R, Robbins P, Watts M, 2011. Global political ecology. Routledge, New York, 450 p.

Keeley J, Scoones I, 2000. Knowledge, power and politics: the environmental policy-making process in Ethiopia. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 38(1), 89-120.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe performance assessment will consist of an individual essay to be written by each student based on at least five references in addition to the sources provided in the course. Students can choose from a list of topics. Criteria for assessment will be communicated at the beginning of the course.
701-0731-00LEnvironmental Behavior in Social ContextW2 credits2SH. Bruderer Enzler
AbstractThis introductory class in the environmental social sciences covers topics such as environmental behavior, environmental concern, social dilemmas and social norms.
ObjectiveBasic knowledge of the environmental social sciences
Overview on current fields of research and their relevance for practical application
ContentUmweltverhalten ist stets in einen gesellschaftlichen Kontext eingebettet und wird durch verschiedenste soziale, psychologische und situationale Faktoren beeinflusst. In diesem Kurs wird Umweltverhalten daher unter anderem im Zusammenhang mit Umweltbewusstsein, sozialen Dilemmata und sozialen Normen diskutiert. Alle Themen werden zunächst eingeführt und anschliessend durch Studierende vertieft. Die Studierenden gestalten voraussichtlich in Zweiergruppen eine Unterrichtsstunde und verfassen eine kurze schriftliche Arbeit.

Fragen, die uns während des Semesters beschäftigen:
- Wie kommt es zu Umweltschädigungen, obwohl niemand diese beabsichtigt?
- Wer verhält sich besonders umweltschonend? Wie wird dies gemessen?
- Welche Rolle spielt das Umweltbewusstsein?
- Welche Rolle spielen äussere Faktoren (Möglichkeiten, Kosten etc.)?
- Wie sehr lassen wir uns dadurch beeinflussen, was andere machen?
- Kooperieren wir nur, wenn auch andere dies tun?
LiteratureDiekmann, A., & Preisendörfer, P. (2001). Umweltsoziologie. Eine Einführung. Reinbek: Rowohlt.
Steg, L., van den Berg, A., & de Groot, J. (2013). Environmental Psychology. An Introduction. Chichester: BPS Blackwell.
701-0985-00LSocial Intercourse with Current Environmental RisksW1 credit1VB. Nowack, C. M. Som-Koller
AbstractThe lecture treats the social intercourse with risks of technical systems. The notion of risk and the perception of risk are discussed by case studies (e.g. nanotechnology) and socio-political instruments for decision-making are presented. Methods are presented that can be applied to deal with environmental risks and how they can be used for sustainable innovation.
Objective- Getting acquainted to the extended risk concept
- Evaluation of the risks caused by technology within the societal context
- Knowledge about the mode science and society handle current environmental risks (examples gene- and nanotechnology)
- Knowledge about handling risks (e.g. precautionary principle, protection goal, damage definition, ethics)
Knowledge about possibilities for sustainable innovation
Content- Risks and technical systems (risk categories, risk perception, risk management)
- Illustration with case studies (nanotechnology)
- Implementation (politics, science, media, etc.)
- Decision making (technology assessment, cost/benefit analysis etc.)
- The role of the media
- prospects for future developments
Lecture notesCopies of slides and selected documents will be distributed
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture is held biweekly (for 2 hours). The dates are 26.9., 3.10. (out of schedule), 24.10, 7.11, 21.11, 5.12, 19.12
227-0802-02LSociologyW2 credits2VA. Diekmann
AbstractVarious studies are used to introduce basic sociological concepts, theories and empirical research methods, along with selected sociological topics. The goal of the course is to provide participants with an understanding of working practice in empirical sociology and the central findings of sociological studies.
ObjectiveTo learn about methods of empirical social research and key results of classic and modern sociological studies.
ContentSoziologie befasst sich mit den Regelmässigkeiten sozialer Handlungen und ihrer gesellschaftlichen Folgen. Sie richtet ihren Blick auf die Beschreibung und Erklärung neuer gesellschaftlicher Entwicklungen und erfasst diese mit emprischen Forschungsmethoden. Die Vorlesung wird u.a. anhand von Beispielstudien - klassische Untersuchungen ebenso wie moderne Forschungsarbeiten - in die Grundbegriffe, Theorien, Forschungsmethoden und Themenbereiche der Soziologie einführen.

Folgende Themen werden behandelt:

1. Einführung in die Arbeitsweise der Soziologie anhand verschiedener Beispielstudien. Darstellung von Forschungsmethoden und ihrer Probleme. Etappen des Forschungsprozesses: Hypothese, Messung, Stichproben, Erhebungsmethoden, Datenanalyse.

2. Darstellung und Diskussion soziologischer Befunde aus der Umwelt- und Techniksoziologie. (1) Modernisierung und Technikrisiken, (2) Umweltbewegung, Umweltbewusstsein und Umweltverhalten, (3) Umweltprobleme als "soziale Dilemmata", (4) Modelle der Diffusion technischer Innovationen.

3. Der Beitrag der Sozialtheorie. Vorstellung und Diskussion ausgewählter Studien zu einzelnen Themenbereichen, z.B.: (1) Die Entstehung sozialer Kooperation, (2) Reputation und Märkte, (3) Soziale Netzwerke u.a.m.

Ergänzende Gruppenarbeiten (nicht verpflichtend). Im Rahmen des MTU-Programms des ITET und Programmen anderer Departemente können Semesterarbeiten in Soziologie (Durchführung einer kleinen empirischen Studie, Konstruktion eines Simulationsmodels sozialer Prozesse oder Diskussion einer vorliegenden soziologischen Untersuchung) angefertigt werden. Kreditpunkte (in der Regel 6 bis 12) für "kleine" oder "grosse" Semesterarbeiten werden nach den Regeln des Departements, das Semestergruppenarbeiten ermöglicht, vergeben.
Lecture notesFolien der Vorlesung und weitere Materialien (Fachartikel, Kopien aus Büchern) werden auf der Webseite der Vorlesung zum Download zur Verfügung gestellt.
LiteratureFolien der Vorlesung und weitere Materialien (Fachartikel, Kopien aus Büchern) werden auf der Webseite der Vorlesung zum Download zur Verfügung gestellt.
Prerequisites / NoticeInteresse am Thema und Bereitschaft zum Mitdenken.
851-0591-00LDigital Sustainability in the Knowledge Society
Particularly suitable for students of D-INFK, D-ITET, D-MATL, D-MAVT, D-MTEC, D-USYS.
W2 credits2VM. M. Dapp
AbstractHow do various interest groups influence the methods of production, distribution, and use of digital resources? Current models focusing on strong intellectual property rights are contrasted with open models like, e.g. Open Source/Content/Access. The course discusses consequences from different models and introduces »digital sustainability« as an alternative vision for society.
ObjectiveAt the heart of the discourse is the handling of digital goods and intellectual property in society. Digitization and the Internet allow handling knowledge in a way, which directly contrasts with the traditional understanding of "intellectual property" and the industries based on it. Starting from economic and legal basics, we compare proprietary and open/"free" models. Sustainable development as a concept is transferred to digital goods, taking into account the particular nature of digital stuff.
After the lecture, you should (hopefully) be able to
- characterize the nature of digital goods vs. physical goods
- critique the basic concepts of copyright and patent rights
- explain the political/legal and economic differences between proprietary and open approaches to the production and use of digital goods
- using an example, explain the meaning of digital sustainability and argue why it is relevant for a knowledge society
- transfer the ideas of the free/open source software model to other digital goods (e.g., open content, open access)
ContentTechnical reality: Within minutes you can make perfect copies of high-value digital goods of knowledge or culture (as text, audio, video, image or software) and distribute them around the globe -- for free. «Digitization plus Internet» allows for the first time in humankind's history the (theoretically) free access and global exchange of knowledge at minimal cost. A tremendous opportunity for societal development, in north and south. «Cool, so what's the problem?»
The problem is, that this reality poses a fundamental threat to today's business model of the knowledge and culture industries (starting from the music label and Hollywood, via publishers, up to software vendors). Powerful commercial interests are at stake as «knowledge» (the fourth factor of production) will become ever more important in the 21st century. Accordingly, «piracy» and «file-sharing» are attacked with all means. At the core lies the question about the design of property in digital assets. For that, we apply a concept of «intellectual property», which is several hundred years old and does not address digtal reality in an adequate manner, sometimes leading to absurd situations. Its original goal seems to get forgotten: to help society develop by spreading knowledge as much as possible.
Using the PC becomes the new cultural technique of the 21st century. In contrast to «reading, writing and arithmetics», this new cultural technique cannot exist in isolation, but depends on a hard- and software infrastructure. This dependency extends to the provider of the infrastructure, who can define technical rules, which can take away or restrict the user's freedom. Even advanced users may have difficulties in recognizing these, often hidden, restrictions and in evaluating their societal relevance. But exactly these invisible consequences we need to understand and investigate, because they decide about access, distribution and usage of digital knowledge.
Comparable to the environmentalist movement of the 60s and 70s, a growing political movement for «Free Software» exists today, with «GNU/Linux» as its most popular symbol. The movement fights against treating software code as private property but as a central cultural good available to all without private interests. Based on the success of the Free Software movement, new initiatives extend the concepts to other domains (e.g. scientific knowledge, music)...
As a «teaser» to the lecture, you are invited to read the essay «ETH Zurich - A Pioneer in Digital Sustainability!». It can be downloaded from
More on starting from September. Stay tuned.
Lecture notesSlides and other material (both usually in English) will be made available on a weekly basis as the lecture proceeds.
LiteratureContent of the following books is covered (PDFs freely available online):
1 Volker Grassmuck, Freie Software - Zwischen Privat- und Gemeineigentum, Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, 2. Aufl. Bonn 2004.
2 François Lévêque & Yann Ménière, The Economics of Patents and Copyright, Berkeley Electronic Press, 2004.
3 Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks, Yale University Press. New Haven 2006.
Other recommended books are:
1 (general) Chris DiBona et al., Open Sources – Voices from the Open Source Revolution, O'Reilly, 1999.
2 (pol. sc.) Steven Weber, The Success of Open Source, Harvard UP, 2004.
3 (law) James Boyle, Shamans, Software, & Spleens - Law and The Construction of the Information Society, Harvard UP, 1996.
4 (law) Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Basic Books, New York 1999.
Prerequisites / NoticeFor administrative and didactic reasons (high level of interaction and credit group assignments on current hot topics), the number of participants is limited to 45.
Of course, any interested person is invited to attend the lecture without doing the group assignment. The website is actively used for the lecture.
851-0594-00LInternational Environmental Politics
Particularly suitable for students of D-ITET, D-USYS
W3 credits2VT. Bernauer
AbstractThis course focuses on the conditions under which cooperation in international environmental politics emerges and the conditions under which such cooperation and the respective public policies are effective and/or efficient.
ObjectiveThe objectives of this course are to (1) gain an overview of relevant questions in the area of international environmental politics from a social sciences viewpoint; (2) learn how to identify interesting/innovative questions concerning this policy area and how to answer them in a methodologically sophisticated way; (3) gain an overview of important global and regional environmental problems.
ContentThis course deals with how and why international cooperation in environmental politics emerges, and under what circumstances such cooperation is effective and efficient. Based on theories of international political economy and theories of government regulation various examples of international environmental politics are discussed: the management of international water resources, the problem of unsafe nuclear power plants in eastern Europe, political responses to global warming, the protection of the stratospheric ozone layer, the reduction of long-range transboundary air pollution in Europe, the prevention of pollution of the oceans, etc.

The course is open to all ETH students. Participation does not require previous coursework in the social sciences.

After passing an end-of-semester test (requirement: grade 4.0 or higher) students will receive 3 ECTS credit points. The workload is around 90 hours (meetings, reading assignments, preparation of test).

Visiting students (e.g., from the University of Zurich) are subject to the same conditions. Registration of visiting students in the web-based system of ETH is compulsory.
Lecture notesAssigned reading materials and slides will be available at (select link 'Registered students, please click here for course materials' at top of that page). Log in with your nethz name and password. Questions concerning access to course materials can be addressed to Mike Hudecheck (Mike Hudecheck <>). All assigned papers must be read ahead of the respective meeting. Following the course on the basis of on-line slides and papers alone is not sufficient. Physical presence in the classroom is essential. Many books and journals covering international environmental policy issues can be found at the D-GESS library at the IFW building, Haldeneggsteig 4, B-floor, or in the library of D-USYS.
LiteratureAssigned reading materials and slides will be available at (select link 'Registered students, please click here for course materials' at top of that page). Log in with your nethz name and password. Questions concerning access to course materials can be addressed to Mike Hudecheck (Mike Hudecheck <>).
Prerequisites / NoticeNone
Module Individual Sciences
Compulsory Courses
701-0721-00LPsychologyO3 credits2VR. Hansmann, C. Keller, M. Siegrist
AbstractThis course provides an introduction to psychological research and modelling, focusing on cognitive psychology and the psychological experiment. Participants learn to formulate problems for psychological investigation and apply basic forms of psychological experiment.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- describe the areas, concepts, theories, methods and findings of psychology.
- differentate scientific psychology from "everyday" psychology.
- structure the conclusions and significance of an experiment. according to a theory of psychology.
- formulate a problem for psychological investigation.
- apply basic forms of psychological experiment.
ContentEinführung in die psychologische Forschung und Modellbildung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der kognitiven Psychologie und des psychologischen Experiments. Themen sind u.a.: Wahrnehmung; Lernen und Entwicklung; Denken und Problemlösen; Kognitive Sozialpsychologie; Risiko und Entscheidung.
752-2120-00LConsumer Behaviour IO2 credits2VM. Siegrist, C. Keller, B. S. Sütterlin
AbstractIntroduction in consumer research. The following aspects will be emphasized in the course: Consumer decision making, indiviudal determinants of consumer behavior, environmental influences on consumer behavior, influencing consumer behavior
ObjectiveIntroduction in consumer research. The following aspects will be emphasized in the course: Consumer decision making, indiviudal determinants of consumer behavior, environmental influences on consumer behavior, influencing consumer behavior
Core Courses
701-0771-00LEnvironmental Conciousness and Public Relations Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 60.

Sign in until 29.09.2016.

Please describe your expectations. Why do want to attend this special topic? Do you have any pre-information about the integral model? Do you have any practical experience in environmental communication?
W2 credits2GR. Locher
Abstract"Environmental Conciousness and Public Relations" shows how to communicate about environment and sustainability successfully. We look at campaigns, exhibitions and other public relations measures to learn, how to design and realize good communication.
ObjectiveYou learn how to handle tools and concepts in environmental communication. And you can evaluate communication projects. We also discuss the evolution of consciousness.
Content- Methods and tools in environmental communication.
- Marketing mix
- Examples of campaigns, events, print products, media relations.
- Integral sustainability
Lecture notesHandouts
Literature- Integral Vision; Ken Wilber, 2005
Prerequisites / NoticeWe will discuss new trends in environmental communication with the focus on integral solutions.
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