Research Area Interdisciplinary Integration of Methods

Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

Develops and researches innovative methods for the interdisciplinary analysis of socio-technical systems.

Due to the interdisciplinary orientation of the research centre, ZIRIUS is intensively involved in numerous collaborations with innovative forms of integration for research approaches from the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and engineering.

Far-reaching social changes are not only reflected in changing attitudes, behavioural patterns and conflicts, but also materialize in the physical environment: they change technology, architecture and infrastructure, which in turn structure possibilities for social action. Social and technical transformation processes can therefore only be apprehended entirely if these physical aspects are also taken into account alongside the classic social science dimensions. Many research questions on socio-technical systems and interrelationships can only be pursued if disciplinary boundaries are overcome and i) methods from different subject areas are applied, combined and integrated and ii) new, interdisciplinary methods are developed. The research area Interdisciplinary Integration of Methods deals with the challenges arising in this context.

In order to reach this aim, e.g., the results of quantitative or qualitative surveys are used to develop and parameterise agent-based simulations or are incorporated into the weighting of multi-criteria decision analyses. Also, data collection using social science methods is coordinated with the measurement of technical or medical data, or multidisciplinary problem analyses are integrated across disciplines using Group Delphis. In addition, qualitative system analyses and scenario technology are coupled with numerical simulations or made practically tangible by processing them into serious games. In the latter two areas, the Cross-Impact Balance Analysis (CIB) method developed at ZIRIUS is usually used, which is why the research area Interdisciplinary Integration of Methods integration is closely linked to the CIB Lab.

Current Projects of this Research Area

As a consequence of climate change, conflicts over groundwater and surface water are also expected to increase in Germany in the future. As part of the Ladenburger Kolleg of the Daimler and Benz Foundation, a joint project coordinated by ZIRIUS is researching these possible conflicts. With the help of participatory modeling and serious gaming, future contexts and actor strategies are examined in their interactions.

To the Project

Multi-stage scenario creation using cross-impact-balance analysis (CIB) and REMix, taking into account path changes and disruptions

To the project

The joint research project wants to explore, how urban and rural municipalities can benefit from cooperation and from more sustainable land use. It aims at jointly developing strategies on the regional level, which combine the following dimensions: land use, sustainability and inter-municipal cooperation. ZIRIUS is coordinating the sub-project ‘conflicts and policy mixes’.

To the Project

In the joint project, an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary concept for the resilient design of the digital energy transition is to be developed with scientific and practical experts, as well as a resilience monitoring, the core of which is a stress test instrument. The main focus of the project is the development of this system-analytical instrument and the concept of its social integration.

To the project

In the joint project Genese, a systematic characterization of different aspects of societal change, the recording of the effects of change on electricity demand, a detailed modeling of the change in demand profiles and the evaluation of these profiles via the integration into energy system models with low temporal resolution as well as electricity market models with high temporal resolution is carried out. The CIB-Lab analyzes aspects of societal change and creates consistent, cross-sectoral driver constellations for demand change with the CIB, which act as a starting point as well as a link between the models.

To the Project

The joint project SyKonaS develops a fundamental, conceptual and methodological approach for the analysis of actor conflicts in energy transition pathways. To this end, the CIB Lab analysis the interactions between conflicts on different levels of the transformation process on the one hand, and the institutional, technical, economic and legal framework conditions on the other hand (conflict lines). In order to support the knowledge gain with practical knowledge, stakeholders are involved who contribute to the identification of conflicts, the assessment of systemic interactions and the development of solutions.

To the Project

Members Research Area Interdisciplinary Integration of Methods

This image shows Wolfgang Hauser

Wolfgang Hauser


Spokesperson Method Development Research Area / Research Associate

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