Michael Mögele

mobil.LAB Fellow

Funded by the Hans-Böckler Foundation

Phone: +

Email: michael.moegele[at]tum.de  


Research Focus:

  • Sustainable Mobilities
  • Organizational Change
  • Automotive Industry

PhD Project Description

Wheels in motion. A discourse-analytical study of the transformation of the German automobile industry

Recent profound changes in Germany’s automobile industry – considered one of the key sectors of its economy – have been accompanied by the emergence and dissemination in society of diverse and at times conflicting standpoints and lines of argument adopted by actors in different fields of interest, many of them outside car manufacturing. Politicians, trade unions and environmentalists, to name but a few, are debating both opportunities and challenges arising from these dramatic changes. At the same time, the strategies and practices of both actors who are directly involved in automobile production and new ones pushing for the transformation of the socio-technical system of car manufacturing continue to diverge. They range from minor changes in engine technology to a radical transformation of the entire business model away from automobile production and towards the provision of mobility services, many of which are supported by ICT. Moreover, these strategies and practices often reflect particular ecological, economic, political, and social considerations concerning the future of (auto-)mobility and its contribution to a sustainability transformation of the entire transport system. Advocates of an immediate ‘mobility transition’ (Verkehrswende) that includes the rapid phasing out of conventional engine technology tend to clash with those who seek to protect the status quo by promoting a gradual adaptation process within car manufacturing. Interestingly, many of the debates that take place in Germany do not only address national issues but acknowledge the significance of global challenges for conventional car manufacturing and their specific local and regional manifestations., My PhD project uses a theory-based discourse-analytical approach to investigate diverse views, arguments and practices adopted by key actors linked to the structural transformation of the automobile industry focusing on the regions of Munich and Stuttgart as case studies. That will combine issues of discourse, social practice, power-relations and space in a mobility politics context.


Since 2017 PhD fellow at the mobil.LAB Doctoral Research Group funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation
Since 2016 Research assistant at the Research and Teaching Unit Human-Environment Relations, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
2015-2016 Final paper about the influence of German car manufacturers on German transport policy, Research and Teaching Unit Human-Environment Relations, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich
2011-2017 1. Staatsexamen (MA-equivalent) for secondary schools (Gymnasium) in geography and physics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich


Mögele, M., & Rau, H. (2020) Cultivating the “car state”: a culturally sensitive analysis of car-centric discourses and mobility cultures in Southern GermanySustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 16(1), 15-28. 

Villeneuve, D., D. Durán-Rodas, A. Ferri, T. Kuttler, J. Magelund, M. Mögele, L. Nitschke, E. Servou, and C. Silva. (2019) What is Interdisciplinarity in Practice? Critical Reflections on Doing Mobility Research in an Intended Interdisciplinary Doctoral Research Group. Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 197.

Rau, H., Popp, M., Namberger, P., & Mögele, M. (2019). Short distance, big impact: The effects of intra-city workplace relocation on staff mobility practices. Journal of Transport Geography, 79, 102483.

Voluntary Activities

Since 2013 Representative for environmental issues at the local group of the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service Landsberg am Lech
Since 2008 Active member of the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service