(Un)Solvable Problems?

Social Science Perspectives on the Challenges of our Times

Online event series at the WZB

15 September to 8 December 2023, on Fridays from 9 to 10 a.m.

Our society is facing many challenges: the loss of trust in politics, doubts about democratic processes, climate change, demographic upheaval, wars, loss of wealth and increased social inequality. The problems are becoming increasingly complex, and there are no simple solutions. All of this creates uncertainty.

The WZB researches basic social problems and therefore has a special mission. For this series of events, all research departments have joined forces to place challenges like these in the major lines of development of our time.

The researchers cannot offer big solutions, but they can share their knowledge. Findings from their analyses are intended to inform and enrich politics, business and society.

The events will be available on all common podcast platforms.




15 September

Das Ende des Sozialstaats? Verteilungskonflikte und die Schulden der Schuldenbremse

Jutta Allmendinger and Michael Wrase

22 September

Is American Democracy Unreformable? The Anatomy of an Enduring political crisis

Daniel Ziblatt and Maximilian Steinbeis

29 September

The Asylum Lottery: The Challenges of Refugee Policy Making

Ruud Koopmans

6 October

Ungleichheit, Unzufriedenheit und Populismus

Steffen Huck and Maja Adena

13 October

„Egal, wie man es macht“?! Double Binds in der Arbeitswelt

Lena Hipp and Jens Riedel

20 October

Globale Herausforderungen und Demokratie

Michael Zürn

27 October

Zugang zu Kindergärten, Schulen und Universitäten – gerecht oder ungerecht?

Dorothea Kübler and Felix Weinhardt

3 November

Warum ist es so schwer, Staaten und ihre politische Führung für rechtswidrige Angriffskriege zur Verantwortung zu ziehen, und wie könnte das verändert werden?

Mattias Kumm

10 November

What good is social science in times of crisis? Lessons/Answers from Corona

Macartan Humphreys

24 November

(Un)lösbare Probleme = (un)lösbare Konflikte? Protest und gesellschaftliche Polarisierung in der Klimafrage

Swen Hutter

1 December

What is democratic resilience and why do we need an analytical concept of it?

Wolfgang Merkel

8 December

Attraktivität der beruflichen Ausbildung in der Krise?

Heike Solga




Friederike Theilen-Kosch
friederike.theilen-kosch [at] wzb.eu


Please register with this link; you will immediately receive the Zoom dial-in data.
The link applies to all events in this series. You do not need to register again for the other events.

The talks will be held in English or German (as the respective title will indicate). Questions may be asked in either language.