Peter Atteslander has died on 15 January 2016 at the age of 89. The internationally renowned Swiss sociologist taught as a professor at Cornell University (New York) and at the universities of Cologne, Geneva, Bern and Augsburg.

In 1991, he and the former director of Caritas Switzerland Fridolin Kissing founded two organisations, the Swiss Institute for Development and the Swiss Academy for Development, which later merged to become SAD.

Peter Atteslander dedicated his time at SAD to anomy research. His goal was to make anomy measurable and to be able to explain its occurrence in different cultures and parts of the world. As Atteslander stated, accelerated social change makes it harder for people to adapt to new circumstances. This leads to anomic conditions: the loss of cultural reference points that make life worth living.

Peter Atteslander’s legacy paved the way for SAD’s current work. He placed science at the service of people left out by social change and proposed solutions to reduce global inequality.