Dr. Rafael Ziegler

Head of Research GETIDOS

In 2018-2019, Rafael Ziegler is guest professor at the Institut for Environment, Sustainable Development and Circular Economy  (IEDDEC) of Université de Montreal, HEC & Polytechnique in Québec, Canada.



Universität Greifswald
Soldmannstr. 15, Haus 1, Raum 3.07
17487 Greifswald
Telefon +49 3834 420 4199



My work is inspired by social innovations not only as a source of empirical materials but also as a spring of new ideas and concepts. My focus is on social innovation in relation to water, justice and sustainability.

After studies in philosophy and economics at the London School of Economics and at McGill University, I co-founded in 2009 the social-ecological research group GETIDOS. My research areas are located at the intersection of political philosophy, environmental ethics and philospohy of science. Over the last year, I have been particularly interested in the capabilities approach, and since 2017 I work as an associate editor of the Journal of Human Development und Capabilities.


Nicholls, Alex, and Rafael Ziegler, eds. Forthcoming 2019. Creating economic space for social innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ziegler, Rafael. 2017. Wer zur Quelle will, muss gegen den Strom schwimmen. oekom: Munich.

Ziegler, Rafael, and David Groenfeldt, eds. 2017. Global water ethics: Towards a global ethics charter. Earthscan studies in water resource management. Abingdon, Oxon, New York, NY: Routledge.

Ziegler, Rafael, Partzsch, Lena, Gebauer, Jana, Marianne Henkel, Justus Lodemann, and Franziska Mohaupt. 2014. Social entrepreneurship in the water sector: Getting things done sustainably. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Ziegler, Rafael, ed. 2009. An introduction to social entrepreneurship: Voices, preconditions, contexts. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Special Issues

Chiappero-Martinetti, Enrica, Christopher Houghton Budd, and Rafael Ziegler. 2017. “Social innovation and the capability approach.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 18 (2).

Höhler, Sabine, and Rafael Ziegler. 2010. “Nature's accountability.” Science as Culture 19 (4).

Ziegler, Rafael, Jana Gebauer, and Franziska Mohaupt. 2009. “Schwerpunkt Social Entrepreneurship.” Ökologisches Wirtschaften 2009 (2).

Articles with peer-review

  1. Hegde, Narasimha, Rafael Ziegler, Caroline Greiser, and Hans Joosten. 2018. “A preliminary assessment of landscape features and cultural practices of sacred fresh water swamps in the central Western Ghats, India.” Wetlands Ecology and Management 26 (1) 49–6
  2. Ziegler, Rafael. 2017. “Social innovation as a collaborative concept.” Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 30 (4) 388–405. doi:10.1080/13511610.2017.1348935.
  3. Ziegler, Rafael. 2017. “Citizen Innovation as Niche Restoration – A Type of Social Innovation and Its Relevance for Political Participation and Sustainability.” Journal of Social Entrepreneurship 8 (3) 338–35 doi:10.1080/19420676.2017.1364286.
  4. Ziegler, Rafael, György Molnár, Enrica Chiappero-Martinetti, and Nadia von Jacobi. 2017. “Creating (Economic) Space for Social Innovation.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 18 (2): 293–98. doi:10.1080/19452829.2017.1301897.
  5. Jacobi, Nadia von, Daniel Edmiston, and Rafael Ziegler. 2017. “Tackling Marginalisation through Social Innovation? Examining the EU Social Innovation Policy Agenda from a Capabilities Perspective.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 18 (2): 148–62. doi:10.1080/19452829.2016.1256277.
  6. Ziegler, Rafael. 201 “Climate neutrality – Towards an ethical conception of climate neutrality.” Ethics, Policy & Environment 19 (3): 256–72. doi:10.1080/21550085.2011226241.
  7. Ruppert-Winkel, Chantal, Robert Arlinghaus, Sonja Deppisch, Klaus Eisenack, Daniela Gottschlich, Bernd Hirschl, Rafael Ziegler et al. 2015. “Characteristics, emerging needs, and challenges of transdisciplinary sustainability science: Experiences from the German Social-Ecological Research Program.” Ecology & Society 20 (3): 1–1 doi:10.5751/ES-07739-200313.
  8. Ziegler, Rafael. 2015. “Justice and innovation – towards principles for creating a fair space for innovation.” Journal of Responsible Innovation 2 (2): 184–200. doi:10.1080/23299460.2015.1057796.
  9. Ziegler, Rafael. 2014. “Reconciliation with the river: Analysis of a concept emerging from practice.” Environmental Values 23 (4): 399–421. doi:10.3197/096327114X13947928264390.
  10. Ziegler, Rafael, Sabrina Schulz, Lukas Richter, and Martin Schreck. 2014. “Following Gandhi: Social entrepreneurship as a non-violent way of communicating sustainability challenges.” Sustainability 6 (2): 1018–36. doi:3390/su6021018.
  11. Ziegler, Rafael. 2013. “Real social contracts for sustainability? A discussion of some philosophical and political implications of social agreement in circumstances of poverty and degraded ecosystems.” Public Reason – Journal of Moral and Political Philosophy 5 (2): 13–19.
  12. Ziegler, Rafael, Christian Dietsche, and Benson Karanja. 2013. “Toilet monuments – an investigation of innovation for human development.” 14 (3): 420–40.
  13. Madill, Judith, and Rafael Ziegler. 2012. “Marketing social missions-adopting social marketing for social entrepreneurship? A conceptual analysis and case study.” International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. 17 (4): 341–51. doi:10.1002/nvsm.1434.
  14. Ott, Konrad, Franziska Mohaupt, and Rafael Ziegler. 2012. “Environmental Impact Assessment.” In Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, edited by Ruth Chadwick, 114–23. San Diego: Academic Press.
  15. Partzsch, Lena, and Rafael Ziegler. 2011. “Social entrepreneurs as change agents: A case study on power and authority in the water sector.” International Environmental Agreements 11 (1): 63–83. doi:10.1007/s10784-011-9150-1.
  16. Ziegler, Rafael, and Nando Hamker. 2011. “The idea of a collaborative competition – a case study.” Futures 43 (4): 441–49. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2010.12.001.
  17. Ziegler, Rafael, and Konrad Ott. 2011. “The quality of sustainability science - a philosophical perspective.” Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 7 (1): 31–44. Reprinted as:
    1. Ziegler, Rafael, and Konrad Ott. 2015. “The quality of sustainability science - a philosophical perspective.” In Ethics of science in the research for sustainable development, edited by Simon Meisch, Johannes Lundershausen, Leonie Bossert, and Marcus Rockoff, 17–44. Baden-Baden: nomos.
    2. Ziegler, Rafael, and Konrad Ott. 2014. “The quality of sustainability science - a philosophical perspective.” In Theories of Sustainable Development, edited by Judith Enders and Moritz Remig, 43–64. London: Routledge.
    3. Ziegler, Rafael, and Konrad Ott. 2012. “Die Qualität der Nachhaltigkeitswissenschaft: eine philosophische Perspektive.” In Perspektiven nachhaltiger Entwicklung, edited by Judith Enders and Moritz Remig, 65–98. Marburg: Metropolis.
  18. Lodemann, Justus, Rafael Ziegler, and Pavol Varga. 2010. “The New Water Paradigm, human capabilities and strong sustainability.” IJW 5 (4): 429–41. doi:10.1504/IJW.2010.038734.
  19. Ziegler, Rafael. 2010. “Crooked wood, straight timber – Kant, development and nature.” Public Reason – Journal of Moral and Political Philosophy 1 (3): 46–61.
  20. Ziegler, Rafael. 2010. “Innovations in doing and being: Capability innovations at the intersection of Schumpeterian political economy and human development.” Journal of Social Entrepreneurship 1 (2): 255–72. doi:10.1080/19420676.2010.511818. Reprinted as: Ziegler, Rafael. 2011. “Capability Innovation – Social Entrepreneurship und soziale Innovation aus Entwicklungsperspektive.” In Social Entrepreneurship - Perspektiven für die Raumentwicklung, edited by Jähnke, Petra, Christmann, Gabriela, Balgar, Karsten, 271–92. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  21. Ziegler, Rafael. 2009. “The politics of operationalisation: Sustainable development and the eco-space approach.” Environmental Politics 18 (2): 163–81.
  22. Ziegler, Rafael. 2008. “Re-using tools: The categorical imperative and the ecological footprint: A comment on education for sustainable development and ethical competence.” Internationale Schulbuchforschung/International Textbook Research 30 (2): 649–58.
  23. Ziegler, Rafael. 2007. “Political perception and the ensemble of macro objectives and measures – the paradox of the Index for Sustainable Economic Welfare.” Environmental Values 16 (3): 43–60. With a comment by Herman Daly and John Cobb (same issue). Reprinted as: Ziegler, Rafael. 2009. “Political perception and the ensemble of macro objectives and measures – the paradox of the Index for Sustainable Economic Welfare.” In Ecological economics, edited by Clive Spash. Vol. 4, Chapter 31. Critical Concepts in the Environment. London: Routledge.
  24. Ziegler, Rafael. 2007. “Tracing global inequality in eco-space: A comment on Tim Hayward's proposal.” Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1): 119–26.
  25. Farrell, Katharine, Friedrich Hinterberger, Réne Kemp, Christian Rammel, and Rafael Ziegler. 2005. “From * for * to governance for sustainable development in Europe – what is at stake for further research?” International Journal for Sustainable Development 8 (2): 127–50.

Publications without peer-review

  1. Ziegler, Rafael. Forthcoming 2019. “The Times of Social Innovation – fictional expectation, precautionary expectation and social imaginary.” In Research Agenda on Social Entrepreneurship, edited by Anne de Bruin and Simon Teasdale. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  2. Ziegler, Rafael, and Nadia von Jacobi. 2018. Fair (economic) space for social innovation? A capabilities perspective. CrESSI Working Papers No. 44, SBS Oxford University. ISBN 978-0-9955852-2-5.
  3. Ziegler, Rafael. 2018. “This is the case (study) – so what? Reflections on a constitutive tension in sustainability science.” In Transdisciplinary Research and Sustainability. Collaboration, Innovation and Transformation, edited by Martina Padmanabhan. 153-170. London: Routledge.
  4. Ziegler, Rafael. 2018. “Social Innovation and the Capability Approach.” In Atlas of   Innovation. New Practices for a Better Future. Edited by Jürgen Howaldt, Christoph Kaletka, Antonious Schröder, and Marthe Zirngiebl. 36-39. Dortmund: Sozialforschungsstelle, TU Dortmund University.
  5. Ziegler, Rafael. 2018. “Jason M. Kelly, Philip V. Scarpino, Helen Berry, James Syvitski, and Michel Meybeck, eds. Rivers of the Anthropocene. Book Review.” Environmental Values, published online March 2018.
  6. Chiappero-Martinetti, Enrica, Christopher Houghton Budd, and Rafael Ziegler. 2017. “Social innovation and the capability approach: Introduction to the special issue.” Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 18 (2): 141–47.  
  7. Scheuerle, Thomas; Schimpf, Gudrun-Christine; Gänzel, Gunnar; Mildenberger, Georg; Ziegler, Rafael. 2016. “Part 1: Three major social innovations as viewed through the lens of the extended social grid model: Social Housing, Freshwater provison and financing access to education. ” In: Report on Relevant Actors in Historic Examples and an Empirically Driven Typology on Types of Social Innovation. 11–224, edited by Scheuerle, Thomas et al. Oxford: SBS. ISBN: 978-0-9933861-9-0 
  8. Ziegler, Rafael. 2017. “Innovation and justice – contributions of the capabilities approach to a 21st century, transformative perspective on innovation.” In Human development in times of crisis: Renegotiating social justice, edited by Hans-Uwe. Otto, Pantazis Spyridon, Holger Ziegler, and Antoanneta Potsi, 327–46. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  9. Ziegler, Rafael, and David Groenfeldt. 2017. “Introduction: global water ethics.” In Global water ethics: Towards a global ethics charter, edited by Rafael Ziegler and David Groenfeldt, 1–12. Earthscan studies in water resource management. New York: Routledge.
  10. Ziegler, Rafael, Dieter Gerten, and Petra Döll. 2017. “Safe, just and sufficient space: the planetary boundary for human water use in a more-than-human world.” In Global water ethics: Towards a global ethics charter, edited by Rafael Ziegler and David Groenfeldt, 109–30. Earthscan studies in water resource management. New York Routledge.
  11. Chiappero-Martinetti, Enrica; Jacobi, Nadia von; Maestripieri, Lara; Ziegler, Rafael; van der Linden, Martijn; van Beers, Cees (2016): Statistical Report. A deliverable of the project “Creating Economic Space for Social Innovation” (CRESSI).  European Commission– 7th Framework Programme. Brussels: European Commission, DG Research and Innovation.
  12. Ziegler, Rafael, and Lilin Kerschbaumer. 2016. “Wasserethik.” In Handbuch Umweltethik, edited by Konrad Ott, Jan Dierks, and Lieske Voget-Kleschin, 256–61. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler.
  13. Nicholls, Alex, and Rafael Ziegler. 2015 (revised 2017). “An extended social grid model for the study of marginalization processes and social innovation.” CRESSI Working Papers 2, Oxford: SBS. ISBN: 978-0-9932078-1-5.
  14. Ziegler, Rafael. 2015. “David Groenfeldt: Water Ethics - A Values Approach to Solving the Water Crisis:  Book review.” Environmental Values 24 (3): 431–33.
  15. Ziegler, Rafael. 20 “Innovation – a genealogy from the standard approach in economics to an economic - sociological model for human development.” In Report Contrasting CRESSI’s Approach of Social Innovation with that of Neoclassical Economics, edited by Christopher Houghton Budd, Ro Naastepad, and Cees van Beers, 25–39. Cressi Working Paper Series 12, Oxford: SBS.
  16. Ziegler, Rafael. 2015. “Towards all voices, from all levels, and in their own ways?” In Youth quotas and other efficient forms of youth participation in ageing societies, edited by Jörg Tremmel, Antony Mason, Petter H. Godli, and Igor Dimitrijoski, 93–108. Heidelberg: Springer. Reprinted (with one additional argument):Ziegler, Rafael. 20 “Mitspracherechte für alle, auf allen Ebenen und auf jeweils eigene Weise?” In Politische Beteiligung junger Menschen, edited by Jörg Tremmel and Markus Rutsche, 201–24. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.
  17. Lodemann, Justus, and Rafael Ziegler. 2014. “How can resilience theory inform social innovation for the marginalized?” CRESSI Working Papers 6, Oxford: SBS.
  18. Thapa, Philipp, and Rafael Ziegler. 2014. “Social dynamics of climate change adaptation in the Klimzug projects: Summary and outlook from the perspective of environmental philosophers.” In Social dimensions of climate change adaptation in coastal regions: Findings from transdisciplinary research, edited by Grit Martinez, Peter Fröhle, and Hans-Joachim Meier, 219–37. München: oekom.
  19. Ziegler, Rafael. 2014. “Wasserraub und Wassergabe.” Kompass – das Themenmagazin des Weltfriedensdienst 3: 10–12.
  20. Gebauer, Jana, and Rafael Ziegler. 2013. “Corporate social responsibility und social entrepreneurship: Entwicklungen, Debatten und Perspektiven für Forschung und Praxis.” In Unternehmerisch und verantwortlich wirken? Forschung an der Schnittstelle von Corporate Social Responsibility und Social Entrepreneurship, edited by Jana Gebauer and Heike Schirmer, 15–67. Schriftenreihe des IÖW 204/13. Berlin.
  21. Gebauer, Jana, and Rafael Ziegler. 2013. “Gemeinsam sind wir groß.” Ökologisches Wirtschaften (1): 21–23.
  22. Ziegler, Rafael. 2013. “Case studies in sustainability science – a discussion of Wolfgang Krohn’s constitutive tension thesis.” Greifswald Environmental Ethics Papers 6.
  23. Dietsche, Christian, Franziska Mohaupt, Benson Karanja, and Rafael Ziegler. 2012. “Öffentliche Versorgung durch Social Entrepreneurship?” Ökologisches Wirtschaften 27 (1): 37–40.
  24. Ziegler, Rafael. 2012. “Alix Cohen. Kant and the Human Sciences: Biology, Anthropology, and History. Book review.” ISIS 103 (3): 586–87.
  25. Ziegler, Rafael. 2012. “Capability innovation and the (re)making of social order.” In The capability approach on social order, edited by Bilal Hawa, Yanti M. Hölzchen, and Niels Weidtmann, 232–51. Münster: LIT Verlag.
  26. Ziegler, Rafael. 2012. “Majoritreyee’s question - human capabilities and innovation.” Maitreyee - E-Bulletin of the Human Development and Capability Association 20 (1): 6–9.
  27. Höhler, Sabine, and Rafael Ziegler. 2010. “Nature's accountability: Stocks and stories.” Science as Culture 19 (4): 417–30.
  28. Ziegler, Rafael. 2010. “Haltstellen des Fortschritts. Kommentar zu Heintel & Krainer: Geschichtlich-kulturelle Nachhaltigkeit.” Erwägen, Wissen, Ethik 21 (4): 38–41.
  29. Ziegler, Rafael. 2010. “Katerina Deligiorgi. Kant and the Culture of Enlightenment.” Book Review. Kant-Studien 101 (1): 115–19.
  30. Henkel, Marianne, Jana Gebauer, Justus Lodemann, Franziska Mohaupt, Lena Partzsch, Eva Wascher, and Rafael Ziegler, eds. 2009. Social Entrepreneurship – Status Quo 2009 (Selbst)Bild, Wirkung und Zukunftsverantwortung. Greifswald: Geozone.
  31. Höhler, Sabine, and Rafael Ziegler. 2009. “Nature’s accountability: Aggregation and governmentality in the history of sustainability.” Conference report. Bulletin of the German Historical Institute 44 (1): 89–94.
  32. Ziegler, Rafael. 2009. “Hans‐Jörg Rheinberger. Historische Epistemologie zur Einführung: Book Review.” ISIS (100): 692–94.
  33. Ziegler, Rafael, Jana Gebauer, Marianne Henkel, Justus Lodemann, Franziska Mohaupt, and Lena Partzsch. 2009. “Von Zukunftsgründern und Heldengeschichten.” Ökologisches Wirtschaften (2): 20–22.
  34. Ziegler, Rafael, Jana Gebauer, and Franziska Mohaupt. 2009. “Einführung, Schwerpunkt Social Entrepreneurship.” Ökologisches Wirtschaften, 2009. 2.
  35. Ziegler, Rafael, Jana Gebauer, and Franziska Mohaupt, eds. 2009. “Social Entrepreneurship.” Special issue, Ökologisches Wirtschaften, no. 2.
  36. Ziegler, Rafael, and Lena Partzsch. 2009. “Nasran Prasad. Social policy and private sector participation in water supply. Book Review.” Environmental Values 18 (2): 241–44.
  37. Ziegler, Rafael. 2008. “Hamlet ohne den Prinz von Dänemark? Schumpeter und das Programm eines sozial-ökologischen Umbaus.” In Für eine neue Alternative: Herausforderungen für einen sozial-ökologischen Umbau, edited by Judith Dellheim and Günther J. Krause, 149–61. Berlin: Dietz Verlag.
  38. Ziegler, Rafael. 2008. “No homework, much worldwork: The State of the World Week and Education for Sustainable Development.” Internationale Schulbuchforschung/International Textbook Research 30 (2): 675–79.
  39. Ziegler, Rafael. 2008. “Okereke, Chukuwumerije. Global justice and neoliberal environmental governance. Book Review.” Environmental Values 17 (3): 425–27.
  40. Ziegler, Rafael. 2008. “Science on the marsh – on the ground of education (for sustainable development).” In Addressing global environmental security through innovative educational curricula, edited by Susan Allen-Gil, Lia Stelljes, and Olena Borysova, 11–26. Berlin: Springer.
  41. Ziegler, Rafael. 2007. “Bryan Norton. Sustainability. A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management. Book Review.” GAIA (2): 145–46.
  42. Ziegler, Rafael. 2006. “Hilde Bojer: Distributional Justice. Theory and Measurement. Book review.” Economics and Philosophy 22 (2): 463–68.
  43. Ziegler, Rafael. 2006. “Visions need Accounts: Essays on Political Perception and Action in a Statistical Age” Ph.D. Thesis (unpublished manuscript).
  44. Ziegler, Rafael. 2005. “Tim Hayward’s Constitutional Environmental Rights.” Book review. Environmental Values 14 (4): 519–20.
  45. Ziegler, Rafael. 2005. “Who’s bearing the brunt? A Comment on needs, luck and Brundtland’s sustainability.” GAIA 14 (4): 290–92.
  46. Ziegler, Rafael. 2005. “William Lafferty’s Governance for Sustainable Development – Adapting Form to Function. Book review.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 38 (3): 44–45.
  47. Ziegler, Rafael. 2003. “Die negative Einkommensteuer: Beispiel einer sozialen Grundsicherung.” In Vision 2020: Arbeit, Umwelt, Gerechtigkeit – Strategien für ein zukunftsfähiges Deutschland, edited by Joachim H. Spangenberg, 187–202. München: ökom.
  48. Ziegler, Rafael, and Bill Jordan. 2001. “The trade unions, tax-benefit reform and basic income: stumbling towards a policy?” Citizen’s Income Newsletter (3): 2–5.

Further Publications

  1. Ziegler, Rafael. 2018. “Music for people and planet – three ways how Simurgh Economy boosts circular economy.” Silk Road Symphony Orchestra Blog. Online.
  2. Ziegler, Rafael. 2017. “Europe and Social Innovation - Travel notes from an Odyssey.” CrESSI-SBS-Blog. Online.
  3. Ziegler, Rafael. 2016. “Zur Sanierung der Nische. Innovation aus Bürgerhand.” IKT- Infodienst 60 (60): 3–5.
  4. Ziegler, Rafael, ed. 2016. “Travel guide to a river – with the YNRA in(to) the Spree”, Greifswald and Berlin. Online.
  5. Ziegler, Rafael, and Jocelyn Harimon. 2015. “Big Jump Challenge 2015 – Small acts of concrete solidarity in times of European Crisis.” Greifswald and Berlin. Online.
  6. Ziegler, Rafael. 2014. “Ach Europa, geh baden: Ein Plädoyer für kleine Akte konkreter Solidarität.” Agora 42 Blog. Online.
  7. Ziegler, Rafael. 2012. “Stadt, Land, Fluss – Sprung. Fluter Blog. Online.
  8. Ziegler, Rafael, and Jana Gebauer. 2012. “Ideas changing minds or money changing hands?”. Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog . Online.
  9. Ziegler, Rafael. 2011. “In Search of collaborative spirit.” Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog. Online.
  10. Ziegler, Rafael. 2011. “Treffpunkt Toilettenmonumente – Toiletten und Unabhängigkeit in Nairobi.” Spiegel online. Online.
  11. Ziegler, Rafael. 2007. “Statistics for All: On Measuring Sustainability in a Democracy.” Alternatives Journal 3 (33): 37–44.
  12. Ziegler, Rafael. 2001. “Eine alte russische Frau und ein deutscher Zivildienstleistender.” Difäm-Themenheft 8: 14–15.
  13. Onken, Jan M., and Rafael Ziegler. 1999. Ein Gedicht, so schlicht: Ein Petersburger Sudelbuch. Sankt Petersburg: Samisdat.