In the present volume Cathal O’Connel looks at the retreat of the public in the area of housing. The changing ownership structures actually affect largely the entire modes of living together societally and socially – accommodation and settlement structures are reconstructed under a certain aegis of privatised options – of which an enforced opting-out is one of the forms of the de-civilising role of the «regulated de-regulation», by which the state is backing out public responsibility, creating space for a new «invisible hand», though this is highly visible in form of multinational capital. The same shift of the «individualisation of the social» is pertinent in third level education which Deirdre Ryan and Peter Herrmann are investigating. In the EU, the current debate on what is called «Services of General Interests» the focus is on access and quality. Ryan/Herrmann clarify in a distinguished way that in this educational context economy matters not only in regard of accessibility, but as well in quality not least in the meaning of «trimming substance». What in these cases is more linked to individual policy areas, radiating and affecting indirectly the entire societal and social fabric, is mirrored and coined by the wider mechanisms of policy making and actually politics. Catherine Forde points on respective mechanisms in local government, making clear that formal re-structuration actually does not open «closed systems»; instead they create a kind of black whole – claims of opening spaces for participation degenerate into unlevelled playgrounds. Problems of balancing such «open spaces» between the formal openness and the actually available «real living space» are topical in Rosie Meade’s contribution. It is getting obvious that responsibility is both a question of rights and personal commitment. Joe Finnerty in his contribution points on the most important fact, that the role of scientific research and the measurement of social and societal processes is as well not least a matter of commitment – it has to be guaranteed and clarified and «objective reason» is not concerned with expelling subjective factors and artificially reducing complexity by constructing arithmetical constraints; instead, the development of indicator-oriented methods has to sublate and supersede complexity.