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.

Speakers 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.


B3 Autumn School and Think Tank with the Cluster of Excellence

B3 Autumn School with participation of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders" from 29 September until 4 Oktober 2014. Workshops with Dr. Kolja Möller, Dr. Federica Gregoratto, Dr. Matthias Kettemann, Frederike Popp and Jochen Schuff. Think Tank, expert meeting, ahead of the B3 Biennale 2015, with Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther and Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert. The Autumn School's Organiser is the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach. More...

Upcoming Events

29 September until 4 October 2014

B3 Biennale Autumn School: Workshops: Dr. Kolja Möller, Dr. Federica Gregoratto: Die Revolution drehen. Bertoluccis 1900B3; Dr. Matthias Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard): Das bewegte Bild - bewegt es Menschen? Engagiertes Imaginieren und Visualisierungen des Ringens um die Menschenrechte; Frederike Popp, Jochen Schuff: Sind Filme Philosohie? - Wir laden ein zum cineastischen Grenzgang (Theorie-Workshop). Think Tank with Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther and Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert. More...

5 October 2014, 4.30pm

Lecture and Panel Discussion: "Quo vadis Indonesien?"  Pluralismus und religiöse Toleranz in Gefahr! More...

Latest Media

Die Unsichtbarkeit einer perfekten Regie

James Conant (University of Chicago) on Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, USA 1960)
Lecture Series "Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino"

Brasil vs. Brasil

Panel discussion and film "Vinegar Syndrome" (directors: Cesar Oiticica Filho and Tamur Aimara) at the park

New full-text Publications

Günther, Klaus (2014):

Normativer Rechtspluralismus - Eine Kritik, Normative Orders Working Paper 03/2014. More...

Günther, Klaus (2014):

Criminal law, Crime and Punishment as Communication, Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2014. More...