Skip to main content Skip to page footer


The Society for Institutional Analysis was established in 1998. It is located at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt and the University of Göttingen, both Germany.

The sofia research group aims to support regulatory choice at every level of public legislative bodies (EC, national or regional). It also analyses and improves the strategy of public and private organizations.

The sofia team is multidisciplinary: Lawyers and economists are collaborating with engineers as well as social and natural scientists. The theoretical basis is the interdisciplinary behaviour model of homo oeconomicus institutionalis, considering the formal (e.g. laws and contracts) and informal (e.g. rules of fairness) institutional context of individual behaviour.


The areas of research cover

  • Product policy/REACh 
  • Land use strategies 
  • Role of standardization bodies 
  • Biodiversity and nature conversation 
  • Water and energy management 
  • Electronic public participation 
  • Economic opportunities deriving from environmental legislation 
  • Self responsibility


sofia is working on behalf of the


sofia is responsible for editing and content of the publication elni Review (link to the elni homepage) a double-blind peer-reviewed, bi-annual, english language law journal of the Environmental Law Network International (elni), as well as the elni fora initiative which brings together environmental lawyers from all over the world.
If you have any questions concerning these activities of sofia, please contact Martin Führ ( or Nicola Below (