Economic phenomena are influenced by their social, political, and cultural context. The experience of the former centrally planned economies of Europe and Asia who opted for different paths and speeds of economic and political reforms provides a perfect illustration. Therefore, this research domain focuses on the political and institutional framework conditions of the agricultural sector and in rural areas. Research projects in this research area primarily aim to evaluate governance, both on the basis of a descriptive analysis and on the basis of comparing the effects of the political and institutional framework on the behaviour of the players. Furthermore, potential driving forces behind agricultural policy and other federal reforms and behind institutional changes were studied.