1569 Introduction to Research & Writing on Contemporary Policy Challenges
Benjamin Baumgartner, BA, MSc (WU), Marta Daniela Paredes Grijalva, MA
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/01/23 to 09/30/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 10/11/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D5.1.001
Wednesday 10/18/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.4.05
Wednesday 10/25/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D5.0.002
Wednesday 11/08/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.5.03
Wednesday 11/15/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.4.05
Wednesday 11/22/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D4.0.022
Wednesday 11/29/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.4.05
Wednesday 12/06/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.0.02
Wednesday 12/13/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.0.02
Wednesday 12/20/23 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.1.01 OeNB
Wednesday 01/10/24 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.0.02
Wednesday 01/17/24 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM EA.6.026
Wednesday 01/24/24 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D4.0.022
Wednesday 01/31/24 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D4.0.022

This course aims at supporting students to (1) develop their research & academic-writing skills (focus on: research proposal), (2) engage with different economic schools of thought (orthodox and heterodox economics), and (3) deepen their knowledge as well as critically reflect on twocontemporary policy challenges from a heterodox-economic perspective: the climate crisis and environmental migration. As such, it seeks to encourage and guide students to critically reflect and skillfully write on pressing (social-ecological) challenges in the 21st century.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes will be threefold. (1) With regard to (soft) skills, students will learn how to develop and write a research proposal. In terms of content, students will (2) reflect upon different economics schools of thought and (3) receive state-of-the-art insights on two pressing contemporary global policy challenges from a heterodox-economic perspective: the climate crisis and environmental migration. They will subsequently deepen their insights and knowledge on these topics through their final assignment.

Attendance requirements

80% attendance of sessions is required to pass the course. This allowance is for serious and unforeseen events only. If you will miss a class, please inform the lecturer in advance.

Please turn-off and do not use mobile communication devices in class

Teaching/learning method(s)
  • Input from lecturer on academic writing (focus on: research proposal), pluralism, and economic schools of thought
  • Allocated readings on pressing (social-ecological) challenges will be discussed in class and the discussion initiated around questions set before. Students should be prepared to informally present on the contents of the papers as well as the problems and issues they raise
  • World-café style discussions on the readings / contemporary policy challenges
  • Plenary discussions, student debates, and group activities
  • Students will develop a research proposal on one of the contemporary social-ecological challenges discussed

The overall grade consists of the following parts:

  • Assessment on plagiarism -> pass/fail
  • Student-led debate on climate crisis (25%)
  • Homework related to environmental migration (25%)
  • Research proposal (50%, 2000 words, excl. references)
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Prerequisites for Incoming Exchange Students nominated by WU partner universities:

Minimum requirements to attend this course:

  • Economics (accumulated minimum of 16 ECTS credits) OR
  • Social sciences (accumulated minimum of 16 ECTS credits) OR
  • Mathematics / statistics / quantitative methods (accumulated minimum of 16 ECTS credits)

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Availability of lecturer(s)

Richard Bärnthaler

Institut für Multilevel Governance and Development,
Department für Sozioökonomie, D4.2.220



Benjamin Baumgartner



Daniela Paredes Grijalva



Covid Clause 

Notice of Special Regulation for Covid-19: If a student is required to quarantine, or is otherwise prevented from attending class, due to a certified case of Covid-19 infection or a federally mandated Covid-19 lockdown, and this affects either attendance or the completion of an exam or other required course assignment, the course instructor is empowered to provide an alternative means for said student to meet the attendance/assessment requirement as necessary. The same means will be required of any student in the same situation in the same course.

Disability Services

If you have a disability that affects your participation at the WU the BeAble program offers services to assist you. Please contact them first before informing the instructors if any accommodations should be made.

Anti-Discrimination Policy

The WU Code of Conduct stipulates that all students and staff respect the diverse backgrounds of its staff and student body. As instructors we come to the classroom with an attitude of respect and expect the same from all students. In case you want to file a discrimination complaint or seek support please contact the Equal Opportunities Committee (AKG) Campus WU, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, D1 building, level 2 Tel.: +43 (0)1/31336/5799 or 5116. Email:

Last edited: 2023-06-03