Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

GESS Science in Perspective Information
Only the topics listed in this paragraph can be chosen as GESS Science in Perspective.
Further below you will find the "type B courses Reflections about subject specific methods and content" as well as the language courses.

6 ECTS need to be acquired during the BA and 2 ECTS during the MA

Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
Type A: Enhancement of Reflection Competence
Suitable for all students
Students who already took a course within their main study program are NOT allowed to take the course again.
851-0331-05LThe Art of ConversationW3 credits2VC. Thomas
AbstractThis course will offer the occasion to reflect upon the art of conversation: its codes, its pleasures of improvisation, its worldly aspects and its importance in everyday life.
ObjectiveThis will permit us to consider different figures of the writer and salon hostess, such as Mme de Lafayette, Mme du Deffand, Julie de Lespinasse, and Mme de Staël.
851-0331-06LThe Secretaries of the Baroque Age and the "Honest Dissimulation"W3 credits2VS. Nigro
AbstractTorquato Accetto, secretary and poet, published the treatise "Della simulazione onesta" in 1641. It was a thin manual to survive political turmoils and moral instability of the time; it was also a guide to "secret" writing in a time of censorship. The course follows the reception of the treatise up to the 20th century and focuses on how it got shaped to meet various historical and political ideas.
ObjectiveThe students know the author and his coeval context; the students can relate the writing modalities of the treatise to the socio-cultural context of various historical times; the students know how to identify and interpret the metaphorical potential of the texts, as well as its literary power.
851-0252-04LBehavioral Studies Colloquium Information W2 credits2KE. Stern, H.‑D. Daniel, D. Helbing, C. Hölscher, B. Rütsche, R. Schubert, C. Stadtfeld
AbstractThis colloquium offers an opportunity for students to discuss their ongoing research and scientific ideas in the behavioral sciences, both at the micro- and macro-levels of cognitive, behavioral and social science. It also offers an opportunity for students from other disciplines to discuss their research ideas in relation to behavioral science. The colloquium also features invited research talks.
ObjectiveStudents know and can apply autonomously up-to-date investigation methods and techniques in the behavioral sciences. They achieve the ability to develop their own ideas in the field and to communicate their ideas in oral presentations and in written papers. The credits will be obtained by a written report of approximately 10 pages.
ContentThis colloquium offers an opportunity for students to discuss their ongoing research and scientific ideas in the behavioral sciences, both at the micro- and macro-levels of cognitive, behavioral and social science. It also offers an opportunity for students from other disciplines to discuss their ideas in so far as they have some relation to behavioral science. The possible research areas are wide and may include theoretical as well as empirical approaches in Social Psychology and Research on Higher Education, Sociology, Modeling and Simulation in Sociology, Decision Theory and Behavioral Game Theory, Economics, Research on Learning and Instruction, Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science. Ideally the students (from Bachelor, Master, Ph.D. and Post-Doc programs) have started to start work on their thesis or on any other term paper.
Course credit can be obtained either based on a talk in the colloquium plus a written essay, or by writing an essay about a topic related to one of the other talks in the course. Students interested in giving a talk should contact the course organizers (Rütsche, Stern) before the first session of the semester. Priority will be given to advanced / doctoral students for oral presentations. The course credits will be obtained by a written report of approximately 10 pages. The colloquium also serves as a venue for invited talks by researchers from other universities and institutions related to behavioral and social sciences.
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.
851-0609-06LGoverning the Energy Transition Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 30.

Primarily suited for Master and PhD level
W2 credits2VT. Schmidt
AbstractThis course addresses the role of policy and its underlying politics in the transformation of the energy sector. It covers historical, socio-economic, and political perspectives and applies various theoretical concepts to specific aspects of governing the energy transition.
Objective- To gain an overview of the history of the transition of large technical systems
- To recognize current challenges in the energy system to understand the theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying transitions
- To demonstrate knowledge on the role of policy and politics in energy transitions
ContentClimate change, access to energy and other societal challenges are directly linked to the way we use and create energy. Both the recent United Nations Paris climate change agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals make a fast and extensive transition of the energy system necessary.
This course introduces the social and environmental challenges involved in the energy sector and discusses the implications of these challenges for the rate and direction of technical change in the energy sector. It compares the current situation with historical socio-technical transitions and derives the consequences for policy-making. It then introduces theoretical frameworks and concepts for studying innovation and transitions. It then focuses on the role of policy and policy change in governing the energy transition, considering the role of political actors, institutions and policy feedback.
The course has a highly interactive (seminar-like) character. Students are expected to actively engage in the weekly discussions and to give a presentation (15-20 minutes) on one of the weekly topics during that particular session. The presentation (30%) and participation in the discussions (20%) will form one part of the final grade, the remaining 50% of the final grade will be formed by a final exam.
Lecture notesSlides and reading material will be made available via (only for registered students).
LiteratureA reading list will be provided via at the beginning of the semester.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is particularly suited for students of the following programmes: MA Comparative International Studies; MSc Energy Science & Technology; MSc Environmental Sciences; MSc Management, Technology & Economics; MSc Science, Technology & Policy; ETH & UZH PhD programmes.
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.
860-0006-00LApplied Statistics and Policy Evaluation Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 20.

Science, Technology, and Policy MSc and MAS in Development and Cooperation have priority.
W3 credits3GI. Günther, K. Harttgen
AbstractThis course introduces students to key statistical methods for analyzing social science data with a special emphasis on causal inference and policy evaluation. Students learn to choose appropriate analysis strategies for particular research questions and to perform statistical analyses with the statistical Software Stata.
- have a sound understanding of linear and logit regression
- know strategies to test causal hypotheses using regression analysis and/or experimental methods
- are able to formulate and implement a regression model for a particular policy question and a particular type of data
- are able to critically interpret results of applied statistics, in particular, regarding causal inference
- are able to critically read and assess published studies on policy evaluation
- are able to use the statistical software STATA for data Analysis
ContentThe topics covered in the first part of the course are a revision of basic statistics and linear and logit regression analysis. The second part of the course focuses on causal inference and introduces methods such as panel data analysis, difference-in-difference methods, instrumental variable estimation, and randomized controlled trials mostly used for policy evaluation. The course shows how the various methods differ in terms of the required identifying assumptions to infer causality as well as the data needs.
Students will apply the methods from the lectures by solving weekly assignments using statistical software and data sets provided by the instructors. These data sets will cover topics at the interface of policy, technology and society. Solving the assignments contributes to the final grade with a weight of 30%. Students are assisted in solving the assignments during the exercises session.
363-1027-00LIntroduction to Health Economics and PolicyW3 credits2VW. Mimra
AbstractHealth expenditures constitute about 10% of GDP in OECD countries. Extensive government intervention is a typical feature in health markets. Risk factors to health have been changing with growing importance of lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity. This course gives an introduction to the economic concepts and empirical findings in health economics.
ObjectiveIntroduce students without prior economics background to the main concepts of health economics and policy to enhance students understanding of how health care institutions and markets function.
ContentThe course gives an introduction to the economic concepts and empirical findings in health economics to enhance students understanding of how health care institutions and markets function. First, the three important decisions made by individuals will be analyzed: What determines the health behaviors, like the intensity of preventive measures like sport, that an individual undertakes? What types and amount of personal health care services does an individual demand? How much health insurance coverage will be purchased?
In a second part, the major participants on the supply side of health care markets - physicians, hospitals, nurses and pharmaceutical manufacturers - will be discussed. E.g., how important are financial incentives in the choice of medicine as a career, specialty choice and practice location? What does it mean and imply that a physician is an agent for a patient? How do pharmaceutical firms decide on investments in new products and how can public policy encourage pharmaceutical innovation?
The choices made by societies about how health care services are financed and about the types of organizations that supply health care will be addressed in a third part. One important choice is whether a country will rely on public financing of personal health care services or encourage private health insurance markets. How could and should a public health insurance system be designed? What health care services should be included or excluded from a public system? Another important choice is whether a society relies on government provision of health care services, private provision by not-for-profit or for-profit organizations or some combination. The advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives will be discussed to provide a framework for analyzing specific types of health care systems.
LiteratureJay Bhattacharya, Timothy Hyde, Peter Tu, "Health Economics", Palgrave Macmillan.
Frank A. Sloan and Chee-Ruey Hsieh, "Health Economics", MIT Press.
363-0387-00LCorporate SustainabilityW3 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
363-0565-00LPrinciples of MacroeconomicsW3 credits2VJ.‑E. Sturm
AbstractThis course examines the behaviour of macroeconomic variables, such as gross domestic product, unemployment and inflation rates. It tries to answer questions like: How can we explain fluctuations of national economic activity? What can economic policy do against unemployment and inflation. What significance do international economic relations have for Switzerland?
ObjectiveThis lecture will introduce the fundamentals of macroeconomic theory and explain their relevance to every-day economic problems.
ContentThis course helps you understand the world in which you live. There are many questions about the macroeconomy that might spark your curiosity. Why are living standards so meagre in many African countries? Why do some countries have high rates of inflation while others have stable prices? Why have some European countries adopted a common currency? These are just a few of the questions that this course will help you answer.
Furthermore, this course will give you a better understanding of the potential and limits of economic policy. As a voter, you help choose the policies that guide the allocation of society's resources. When deciding which policies to support, you may find yourself asking various questions about economics. What are the burdens associated with alternative forms of taxation? What are the effects of free trade with other countries? What is the best way to protect the environment? How does the government budget deficit affect the economy? These and similar questions are always on the minds of policy makers.
Lecture notesThe course webpage (to be found at contains announcements, course information and lecture slides.
LiteratureThe set-up of the course will closely follow the book of
N. Gregory Mankiw and Mark P. Taylor (2014), Economics, Cengage Learning, Third Edition.

We advise you to also buy access to Aplia. This internet platform will support you in learning for this course. To save money, you should buy the book together with Aplia. This is sold as a bundle (ISBN: 9781473715998).

Besides this textbook, the slides and lecture notes will cover the content of the lecture and the exam questions.
363-0561-00LFinancial Market RisksW3 credits2GD. Sornette
AbstractI aim to introduce students to the concepts and tools of modern finance and to make them understand the limits of these tools, and the many problems met by the theory in practice. I will put this course in the context of the on-going financial crises in the US, Europe, Japan and China, which provide fantastic opportunities to make the students question the status quo and develop novel solutions.
ObjectiveThe course explains the key concepts and mechanisms of financial economics, their depth and then stresses how and why the theories and models fail and how this is impacting investment strategies and even a global view of citizenship, given the present developing crises in the US since 2007 and in Europe since 2010.

-Development of the concepts and tools to understand these risks and master them.

-Working knowledge of the main concepts and tools in finance (Portfolio theory, asset pricing, options, real options, bonds, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates)

-Strong emphasis on challenging assumptions and developing a systemic understanding of financial markets and their many dimensional risks
Content1- The Financial Crises: what is really happening? Historical perspective and what can be expected in the next decade(s). Bubbles and crashes. The illusion of he perpetual money machine.

2- Risks in financial markets
-What is risk?
-Measuring risks of financial assets
-Introduction to three different concepts of probability
-History of financial markets, diversification, market risks

3- Introduction to financial risks and its management.
-Relationship between risk and return
-portfolio theory: the concept of diversification and optimal allocation
-How to price assets: the Capital Asset Pricing Model
-How to price assets: the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the factor models and beyond

4- Financial markets: role and efficiency
-What is an efficient market?
-Financial markets as valuation engines: exogeneity versus endogeneity (reflexivity)
-Deviations from efficiency, puzzles and anomalies in the financial markets
-Financial bubbles, crashes, systemic instabilities

5- An introduction to Options and derivatives
-Calls, Puts and Shares and other derivatives
-Financial alchemy with options (options are building blocs of any possible cash flow)
-Determination of option value; concept of risk hedging

6-Valuation and using options
-a first simple option valuation modle
-the Binomial method for valuing options
-the Black-scholes model and formula
-practical examples and implementation
-Realized prices deviate from these theories: volatility smile and real option trading
-How to imperfectly hedge with real markets?

7- Real options
-The value of follow-on investment opportunities
-The timing option
-The abandonment option
-Flexible production
-conceptual aspects and extensions

8- Government bonds and their valuation
-Relationship between bonds and interest rates
-Real and nominal rates of interest
-Term structure and Yields to maturity
-Explaining the term structure
-Different models of the term structure

9- Managing international risks
-The foreign exchange market
-Relations between exchanges rates and interest rates, inflation,
and other economic variables
-Hedging currency risks
-Currency speculation
-Exchange risk and international investment decisions
Lecture notesLecture slides will be available on the site of the lecture
LiteratureCorporate finance
Brealey / Myers / Allen
Eight edition
McGraw-Hill International Edition (2006)

+ additional paper reading provided during the lectures
Prerequisites / Noticenone
363-1050-00LConference of Disarmament: Simulation of Negotiations Restricted registration - show details
Does not take place this semester.
W3 credits2SM. Ambühl
AbstractThe Global Studies Institute (University of Geneva) is organizing a simulation seminar on nuclear disarmament in collaboration with the Chair of Negotiation and Conflict Management (ETH), experts from the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and the Geneva Center for Security Policy.
ObjectiveThe simulation is conducted in collaboration with experts and students during a two days seminar at the University of Geneva.

Students will have the possibility to participate in simulated diplomatic negotiations and to analyse and assess the negotiation logic behind the situations. They should gain insight in the basic information on disarmament issues and on the functioning of the Conference on Disarmament as well as on negotiation techniques in general.
ContentThe simulation project is intended for Master's or Doctoral students of the Global Studies Institute (GSI) of the University of Geneva, of the ETH and for interested students of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). The simulation will be in French and English and is conducted by Prof. Calmy-Rey, former President of Switzerland.

In the lectures, students will be provided with basic information on disarmament issues and on the functioning of the Conference on Disarmament as well as on negotiation techniques in general. Students will take the role of negotiators in the simulation (including the heads of the delegations), of keeper of the minutes or of observers and analysts.
Students will co-develop their mandates for the negotiation and be assisted by experts that are specialized in international negotiations as well as in the topic of disarmament. The negotiation tables will be chaired by former diplomats. Representatives of diplomatic missions in Geneva will play the role of the "Capitals" to which the heads of delegations will have to give account of the ongoing negotiations.

More details on the program, timetable, reading lists and performance assessment will be published here:

The simulation will take place on the 26 and 27 November 2015 at the University of Geneva.

Languages: English and French

Dates/Time/Location (GE = University of Geneva)

22 Sept. | ETH HG D 22 | 10:15-12:00 | Introduction
29 Sept. | GE Uni Mail Salle 1170 | 10:15-12:00 | Introduction to Negotiation Techniques (Dr. Vitalijs Butenko and Dr. Sibylle Zürcher, ETH)
6 Oct. | ETH HG D 16.2 | 10:15-12:00 | Distribution of the roles, composition of the negotiation tables, preparation of mandates for the HA (humanitarian approach)
13 Oct. | ETH HG D 22 | 10:15-12:00 | Preparation of the mandates for the FMCT (Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty)
20 Oct. | GE Uni Mail Salle 1170 | 10:15-12:00 | No session; Students deepen and summarize their mandates on one page (A4)
27 Oct. | GE Uni Mail Salle 1170 | 10:15-12:00 | Discussion of the Mandates I (FMCT)
10 Nov. | GE Uni Mail Salle 1170 | 10:15-12:00 | Discussion of the Mandates II (HA)
17 Nov. | GE Uni Mail Salle 1170 | 10:15-12:00 | Preparation Meeting
26 & 27 Nov. | GE Salles 407 et 408 | 10:00-18:00 | Simulation at Uni Dufour
1 Dec. | GE Uni Mail Salle 1170 | 10:15-12:00 | Discussion of the results

The participation in the simulation on 26. and 27. November in Geneva is necessary.
The two hours lectures on the 22. September, 6. and 13. October have to be attended in Zürich via conference call (ETH HG D 16.2). The other lectures during the semester can be attended via Skype.
To get the 3 ECTS, students have to participate at the 2 days simulation In Geneva, attend the 3 mandatory lecture parts via conference call an Zürich and write a report of 5 pages at the end of the course.

(Technical note for registration: At this stage all registered students are on the waiting list)
351-0555-00LOpen- and User Innovation Information W3 credits2GS. Häfliger, S. Spaeth
AbstractThe course introduces the students to the long-standing tradition of actively involving users of technology and other knowledge-intensive products in the development and production process, and through own cases they develop an entrepreneurial understanding of product development under distributed, user-centered, or open innovation strategies.
ObjectiveThe course includes both lectures and exercises alternately. The goal is to understand the opportunity of user innovation for management and develop strategies to harness the value of user-developed ideas and contributions for firms and other organizations.

The students actively participate in discussions during the lectures and contribute presentations of case studies during the exercises. The combination should allow to compare theory with practical cases from various industries.

The course presents and builds upon recent research and challenges the students to devise innovation strategies that take into account the availability of user expertise, free and public knowledge, and the interaction with communities that span beyond one organization.

Grading is based on the final exam, the class presentations (including the slides) as well as class participation.
ContentThis course on user innovation extends courses on knowledge management and innovation as well as marketing. The students are introduced to the long-standing tradition of actively involving users of technology and other knowledge-intensive products in the development and production process, and through own cases they develop an entrepreneurial understanding of product development under distributed, user-centered, or open innovation strategies. Theoretical underpinnings taught in the course include models of innovation, the structuration of technology, and an introduction to entrepreneurship.
Lecture notesThe slides of the lectures are made available and updated continuously through the SMI website:
LiteratureRelevant literature for the exam includes the slides and the reading assignments. The corresponding papers are either available from the author online or distributed during class.

Reading assignments: please consult the SMI website:
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.
701-0747-00LEnvironmental Policy of Switzerland IW3 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.
701-0757-00LPrinciples of Economics Information W3 credits2GR. Schubert
AbstractThis course covers the bases for understanding micro- and macroeconomic issues and theories. Participants are given the tools to argue in economic and political terms and to evaluate the corresponding measures. Group and individual exercises deepen the knowledge gained.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- describe fundamental micro- and macroeconomic issues and theories.
- apply suitable economic arguments to a given theme.
- evaluate economic measures.
ContentSupply and demand behaviour of firm and households; market equilibrium and taxation; national income and indicators; inflation ; unemployment; growth; macroeconomics policies
Lecture notesavailable on electronic platform
LiteratureMankiw, N.G.: “Principles of Economics”, fourth edition, South-Western College/West, Mason 2006.

German translation: Mankiw, N.G. : Grundzüge der Volkswirtschaftslehre, 3rd. edition, Stuttgart 2004.
Prerequisites / Noticeelectronic plattform
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
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.
851-0125-03LResearch Colloquium for Ph.D.-Students and Members of Staff Restricted registration - show details
Open for Master students on personal invitation.
Personal registration required to Mr. Wingert.
Z0 credits1KL. Wingert
AbstractPh.D. students and members of staff report on their research.
ObjectiveKey problems of research projects will be discussed. Participants will learn to know arguments and ideas dealing with systematic problems in philosophy.
851-0125-41LIntroduction Into Philosophy of Technology
Particularly suitable for students of D-ITET, D-MATL, D-MAVT
W3 credits2VO. Müller
AbstractSince antiquity philosophy reflects about and evaluates technology. The technical developments in the 19th and 20th century have led to a autonomous philosophy of technology, which had become important also for other philosophical disciplines (e.g. in Heidegger's philosophy).
ObjectiveThe course gives an overview on the main schools in the philosophy of technology. Students should learn to analyse and evaluate different philosophies of technology (compensation, objectification, externalisation). For credit point a critical protokoll is to be written.
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