Dr. Marco Sonnberger

Marco Sonnberger studied sociology and political science at the Universities of Heidelberg and Stuttgart. Since April 2009, he has been conducting research on socio-ecological transformation processes in the fields of energy and mobility at the Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies (ZIRIUS) at the University of Stuttgart. In 2014, he received his PhD in sociology from the University of Stuttgart. Since March 2021, in addition to his work at ZIRIUS, he is also research associate at the Department of Environmental Sociology at the University of Jena and is doing on the transformation of property regimes and the role of non-knowledge in the context of energy transitions. 

A picture of Dr. Marco Sonnberger.

Research Project

The subproject “Wind Harvest and Heat Theft” focuses on the emergence and transformation of property regimes in the context of the use of the natural resources wind and underground heat. In different case studies, it is investigated how existing property regimes and practices of use are challenged by perceived changes in the physical characteristics of the respective resources as well as by new interests of use (e.g., in the case of wake effects in wind farms). Thereby, the overall research objective is to analyze in depth how property rights to the natural resources wind and underground heat are socially constructed by different social actors and how different social interpretations come into conflict. 



Academic publications
  • Ruhrort, L.; Mock, M.; Sonnberger, M. (2024): “Transformation von Mobilitätspraktiken im Kontext multipler Krisen – Beschleunigter Wandel oder nachhaltige Nicht-Nachhaltigkeit von Mobilitätspraktiken angesichts multipler Krisen? Eine Einleitung zum Sonderband", In: Soziologie und Nachhaltigkeit – Beiträge zur sozial-ökologischen Transformationsforschung, special issue 3.
  • Sonnberger, M.; Pfeiffer, M.; Bleicher, A.; & Gross, M. (2024): "Wake effects and temperature plumes: Coping with non-knowledge in the expansion of wind and geothermal energy", In: Social Studies of Science, 0 (0). https://doi.org/10.1177/03063127241246551
  • Sonnberger, Marco; Bleicher, Alena; Groß, Matthias (Hg.) (2024): Handbuch Umweltsoziologie. 2., vollkommen überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Böhm, G.; Pfister, H.-R.; Doran, R.; Ogunbode, C. A.; Poortinga, W.; Tvinnereim, E.; Steentjes, K.; Mays, C.; Bertoldo, R.; Sonnberger, M.; Pidgeon, N. (2023): "Emotional reactions to climate change: a comparison across France, Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom“, In: Frontiers in Psychology 14, 1–23.
  • Horn, Daniel; Groß, Matthias; Pfeiffer, Maria; Sonnberger, Marco (2022): “How Far Is Far Enough? The Social Constitution of Geothermal Energy through Spacing Regulations.”, in: Sustainability 14 (1): 496.
  • Gross, Matthias; Sonnberger, Marco (2022): “Making the Most of Failure and Uncertainty: Welcome Surprises and Contingency in Energy Transition Research”, in: Energies 15: 6649
  • Kropp, Cordula; Sonnberger, Marco (2021): Umweltsoziologie. Reihe Studienkurs Soziologie. Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verlag.
  • Sonnberger, Marco; Lindner, Doris (2021): “Participation in real-world laboratories in a new light?! Closing the gap between co-creative and deliberative participation“, In: Spatial Research and Planning | Raumforschung und Raumordnung 79(4), 424-437.
  • Sonnberger, Marco; Graf, Antonia (2021): “Sociocultural dimensions of mobility transitions to come: introduction to the special issue“, In: Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 17(1), 174-185.
  • Sonnberger, Marco; Ruddat, Michael; Arnold, Annika; Scheer, Dirk; Poortinga, Wouter; Böhm, Gisela et al. (2021): “Climate concerned but anti-nuclear: Exploring (dis)approval of nuclear energy in four European countries”, In: Energy Research & Social Science 75 (5), 102008.
  • Sonnberger, Marco; Leger, Matthias (2020): “Gegen das Gemeinwohl. Eine qualitative Studie zur Deutung der Dieselfahrverbote in Stuttgart”, in: Soziale Welt 71 (4), 475–506.
  • Sonnberger, Marco (2020): “Renewable energy technologies and their implications for critical materials from a sociology of consumption perspective. The case of photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles”, In: Alena Bleicher und Alexandra Pehlken (Eds.): The Material Basis of Energy Transitions, Amsterdam: Elsevier Academic Press, 207–221.
  • Gross, Matthias; Sonnberger, Marco (2020): “How the diesel engine became a “dirty” actant: Compression ignitions and actor networks of blame”, In: Energy Research and Social Science 61, 101359.
  • Graf, Antonia; Sonnberger, Marco (2020): “Responsibility, rationality, and acceptance: How future users of autonomous driving are constructed in stakeholders’ sociotechnical imaginaries”, In: Public Understanding of Science 29 (1), 61-75.

Download complete list of publications

Media and podcasts
  • Gross, Matthias; Pfeiffer, Maria; Horn, Daniel; Sonnberger, Marco (2022): “Blowing in the wind turbines”, In: blog of the Collaborative Research Centre “Structural Change of Property”. (published on 17.03.2022)