Welcome to the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” at Frankfurt University!

We are living at a time of profound and rapid social changes. These changes are bound up with social conflicts, both within states and beyond them. Whether it is a matter of a just social order under conditions of “globalization” and new technological possibilities or a just “global order” in the face of scarce resources, climate change and armed conflicts –we are confronting challenges of a new kind that cannot be met with traditional conceptions of order. In a world of different cultural self-understandings and traditions, transnational norms and institutions are emerging whose validity is being – and must be – placed in question.

The researchers in the humanities and social sciences united in the Frankfurt Cluster of Excellence have made it their task to analyse these processes from the perspective of the “formation of normative orders”. They see the processes and conflicts in question not merely as facts and as phenomena to be described in functionalist terms; instead they enquire into the normative conceptions which play a role in this context, and thus confront, and in the process transform, one another. In the eyes of the researchers who work here, the dynamic and thrust of the current upheavals and conflicts first becomes apparent in the normative dimension.

Normative orders are understood in this context as historically grounded “orders of justification” based upon “justification narratives”. They privilege certain legitimations, where norms and values of very different kinds (moral, legal and religious, to mention just a few) are interconnected or give rise to tensions. Such orders derive their legitimation from specific norms and themselves give rise to norms, though always in a dynamic sense.

Researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, such as philosophy, history, political science and legal studies, as well as ethnology, economics, theology and sociology, cooperate within this research alliance. Their goal is to be able to reach conclusions informed by all of these perspectives concerning the extent to which we live in an era of the formation of new normative orders.

The Cluster of Excellence is funded by the German Research Foundation in the context of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments.

Directors are

Professor Rainer Forst (Institute of Political Science and Institute of Philosophy) and

Professor Klaus Guenther (Institute of Criminology and Philosophy of Law).

Read more:

  • Forst, Rainer; Günther, Klaus (Hrsg.) (2011): Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven, Normative Orders Bd. 1, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2011, 267 S.


Workshop on Simon Caney’s manuscript On Cosmopolitanism: Equality, Ecology, and the Transition to a Fairer World Part II: Egalitarianism and Resistance

Book Workshop with Simon Caney - Part II (Frankfurr), 27 January 2017. Program: click here...

Forschungsbau "Normative Ordnungen" auf dem Campus Westend

Upcoming Events

27 January 2017, 9.30am-6.40pm

Book Workshop mit Simon Caney - Part II (Frankfurr): Workshop on Simon Caney’s manuscript On Cosmopolitanism: Equality, Ecology, and the Transition to a Fairer World Part II: Egalitarianism and Resistance. More...

1 February 2017, 7pm

Framework programme Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" within the exhibition "Unter Waffen. Fire & Forget 2" Museum Angewandte Kunst, Lecture and conversation with the curator. Vom Koffertrolley bis zur Drohne. Die Dimensionen der Waffe im Recht. Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard, LL.M. (NYU) (Professor für Straf- und Strafprozessrecht, Internationales und Europäisches Strafrecht, Rechtsvergleichung und Rechtstheorie der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Dr. Daniel Tyradellis (Kurator der Ausstellung). More...

2 February 2017, 6pm

Research Group Internet and Society: Julia Pohle (Berlin). Die Kontingenz des Politikfeldes Internet: die Institutionalisierung von internetpolitischen Diskursen. More...

Latest Media

Performing Jewishness. Ernst Lubitschs frühe Milieukomödien

Valerie Weinstein
Lecture and Film "Schnell wie der Witz - Die Filme von Ernst Lubitsch"

Waffen für alle? Die Pistole aus dem 3D-Drucker

Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase and Marco Fey
Framework programme "Unter Waffen. Fire & Forget 2"

New full-text Publications

Roth-Isigkeit, David (2016):

The Grammar of Global Law, Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2016. More...

Comtesse, Dagmar (2015):

Taming the superlative, embedding the comparative: a form of subjectivation for a post growth society, Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2015. More...