Thuringian Research Award for Hartmut Rosa

Every year, the Free State of Thuringia honours excellent research achievements with the Thuringian Research Award. This year, the prize in the category „Basic Research“ goes to the sociologists Professor Klaus Dörre (University of Jena), Professor Stefan Lessenich (LMU Munich) and to Professor Hartmut Rosa, the director of the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt, who also works in Jena at the Friedrich Schiller University.

The three receive the 25,000 euro award for their work on post-growth societies. Within the framework of the research group „Landnahme, Beschleunigung, Aktivierung. On the (De-)Stabilisation of Modern Growth Societies“, the sociologists have investigated the structural growth constraints of modern societies and uncovered the social mechanisms of „always more and never enough“. The research group has been funded by the German Research Foundation between 2011 and 2019.

The world, according to the diagnosis, is in an economic-ecological pincer crisis: economic growth as we know it from the past is no longer possible without further exacerbating the catastrophic ecological consequences. Conversely, climate protection and the conservation of natural resources require a departure from previous economic and transport concepts. „The primacy of growth has reached its limit. Growth exacerbates the current crisis of capitalism and no longer offers the solution,“ underlines Professor Klaus Dörre. The Professor of Sociology of Labour, Industry and Economics at the University of Jena accepted the award on behalf of the entire team of the research group. He emphasises that the current Corona pandemic exacerbates the pincer crisis on the one hand and makes the underlying mechanisms clearer on the other: The fact that Germany actually achieved its climate goals in 2020 was mainly due to the Corona lockdowns and not so much the result of a successful strategy. „The example shows that the system change to a post-growth society has already begun. If we don’t actively shape it ourselves, the next crisis will further force us to do so.“

The sociologists want to follow the development even after the conclusion of the research college – the Thuringian Research Award, according to the sociologists, is both recognition and motivation for this.