Interdisciplinary Value Research

Research Context

Values are a major topic with high individual and social relevance. Theologically and socio-scientifically, values are of great importance: They provide information about the socio-cultural situation of societies and are considered to be "conceptions of the desirable" (C. Kluckhohn) as well as ethical guidelines for individuals and groups. This research area is concerned with the theoretical discourse on values and also analyses developments in specific value fields such as work and career, family and partnership, politics, religion and migration. The insights gained from this research are conveyed to various stakeholders (church, politics, civil society organisations, educational institutions, etc.) as options for action. A special focus is laid on the cooperation with other faculties, which is realised in the Research Network "Interdisciplinary Research on Human Values" at the University of Vienna.


  • Further development of the theoretical discourse on values from the perspective of different scientific disciplines and in interdisciplinary cooperation
  • Social science analysis of value systems and their change in Austria and analyses of selected international focal points
  • Contributions of value research and value education as a challenge and task for practical theology and religious education
  • Impulses for the differentiation and objectification of value debates in society and in the public domain


  • Research Network "Interdisciplinary Research on Human Values"
  • European Values Study
  • The Formation of Values: Contents – Places – Processes
  • Values – Politics – Religion: The European Values Study 2018-2021(book project)
  • Dissertations and Theses


Christian Friesl (lead), Regina Polak, Patrick Rohs


  • Changing Values and Value Formation in Austria
    On the 18th of July 2019, the Research Network "Interdisciplinary Research on Human Values" presented the two publications  "Quo vadis, Österreich? Wertewandel zwischen 1990 und 2018" (Quo vadis, Austria? Changing Values between 1990 to 2018) and "Werte und Wertebildung aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive" (Values and Value Formation from an Interdisciplinary Perspective). Key findings were presented and discussed with experts. > more (in German)
  • The World of Values of Austrians
    The Austrian Pastoral Conference is one of the largest church conferences in Austria. From the 10th to the 12th of January 2019 the conference held a meeting discussing this particular issue "FREEDOM*HAPPINESS*LIVING - Secularity and Pastoral Action". The presentation "Die Werte-Welt der Österreicher/innen: Entwicklungen und Herausforderungen" (The World of Values of the Austrians: Developments and Challenges), Christian Fries, was a contribution of the Research Network "Interdisciplinary Research on Human Values". > Presentation (in German)


  • POLAK Regina: Transzendenzmangel in den Werthaltungen der Österreicherinnen und Österreicher als Herausforderung für die Zeit nach der Covid-19-Pandemie, in: Wolfgang Kröll / Johann Platzer / Hans-Walter Ruckenbauer / Walter Schaupp: Die Corona-Pandemie. Ethische, gesellschaftliche und theologische Reflexionen einer Krise, Baden-Baden (2020) 237 – 255. Reihe: Bioethik in Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft, Band 10. (PR)
  • POLAK Regina: Werte und Politik, in: Sigrid Müller et al. (Hg.): Werte im Beruf. Ethik und Praxis im Gespräch. Aschendorff Verlag.
  • AICHHOLZER Julian, FRIESL Christian, HAJDINJAK Sanja, KRITZINGER Sylvia (Hrsg.): Quo vadis, Österreich? Wertewandel zwischen 1990 und 2018, Wien 2019.
  • VERWIEBE, Roland (Hrsg.): Werte und Wertebildung aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive, Wiesbaden 2019.
  • POLAK, Regina (Hrsg.): Zukunft. Werte. Europa. Die Europäische Wertestudie 1990-2010: Österreich im Vergleich, Wien 2011.
  • FRIESL Christian, HAMACHERS-ZUBA Ursula, POLAK Regina (Hrsg.): Die Österreicher-innen. Wertewandel 1990-2008, Wien 2009.