UA Ruhr News Center

11. 04. 2024

Experts from the UA Ruhr discuss "Work and democracy" with interested parties

This public series explores how the world of work promotes the democratic development of our society.

In the face of growing right-wing extremist, anti-democratic political aspirations, social institutions and shared values are currently facing profound challenges. The socio-ecological transformation of the economy and work is giving rise to widespread uncertainty in society. In a series of public lectures and discussions, the key interactions between "work and democracy" will be examined in more detail. The event is organized by the Network of Labour and Trade Union Research in the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) in cooperation with IG Metall, the Academy of the Ruhr University Bochum and the DGB-Bildungswerk Bund. The lectures will take place on six Tuesdays during the summer semester on site in the atrium of the O-Werk (Suttner-Nobel-Allee 4, 44803 Bochum) and digitally via Zoom and are accessible to all interested participants free of charge. Please register in advance.  

Experts from the UA Ruhr provide valuable input
The series will kick off on April 23, 2024 at 5:15 p.m. with brief welcoming remarks from Christiane Benner, First Chairwoman of IG Metall, and Tobias Nadjib, Managing Director of VW Infotainment, Bochum. After an introduction by Prof. Dr. Markus Hertwig, Chair of Sociology in the Digital Transformation at the Ruhr University, Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger (Director of the Institute for Social Movements) will speak about the importance of the history of memory for the further development of social democracy.

On the second event evening on April 30, Prof. Dr. Rolf G. Heinze from RUB (Senior Professor for the Section of Sociology) will speak about the role of welfare organizations in the labour market. In doing so, he will shed light on current challenges.

© VRD​/​

On the fourth evening of the event (28 May), colleagues from Dortmund/Gelsenkirchen will speak: Prof. Dr. Maximiliane Wilkesmann (Heisenberg Professorship "Sociology of Work and Organization" at the Faculty of Social Sciences at TU Dortmund University and member of the College for Social Sciences and Humanities at UA Ruhr), Michaela Evans-Borchers (Director of Work & Change at the Institute of Work and Technology at Westfälische Hochschule, Gelsenkirchen) and Dr. Peter Ittermann (Coordinator of the research area Industry and Labor Research at the Social Research Center Dortmund) on the transformation of the world of work and development trends within gainful employment.

Colleagues from Duisburg/Essen will speak on the fifth evening of the event (June 11): Prof. Dr. Thomas Haipeter, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm and Dr. Fabian Hoose (all from the Institute for Work and Qualification at University of Duisburg-Essen) on the challenges of co-determination in the double transformation that the German economy is already facing today and will have to consider in the future.

Joint discussions with the public
Together with a broad, interested public, the experts in labor and trade union research want to discuss the close connection between work, co-determination and social recognition in the series. "Gainful employment is not only the means of securing a material livelihood and social participation, but also the central social institution in which the recognition of different interests and cooperative forms of conflict resolution are learned and practised," say the organizers. "The recognition of social civil rights in the world of work therefore promotes the democratic development of a society as a whole."

About the network
The network of labour and trade union research in the UA Ruhr deals with problems from the fields of labour, technology and organizational development. The focus is on issues of work, co-determination and participation in the socio-ecological transformation. The network emerged from joint project initiatives in the context of the Ruhr Conference. It consists of members from the Ruhr University Bochum (Institute for Social Movements, Joint RUB/IGM Office), the Technical University of Dortmund (Social Research Center sfs), the University of Duisburg-Essen (Institute for Work and Qualification IAQ) and the Institute for Work and Technology (IAT) in Gelsenkirchen. Further information on the network activities in the Ruhr region can be found at:

Kevin Müller
Academy of Ruhr University

Prof. Dr. Manfred Wannöffel
Managing Director of the Joint Center RUB/IGM
Tel: +49 234 32 2 26899