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.


"Theorizing Global Order" - Lecture Series Summer Semester 2015

The Lecture Series' title 2015 is "Theorizing Global Order". Lecturer are Prof. R. B. J. (Rob) Walker (University of Victoria, Canada), Prof. Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University, Ankara), Prof. Iver Neumann (London School of Economics and Political Science), Prof. Chris Reus-Smit (University of Queensland, Australia), Prof. Erik Ringmar (Lund University, Sweden) and Prof. Siddhharth Mallavarapu (South Asian University, New Delhi), Campus Westend, HZ6. 29 April 2015, 6.15pm. More...

Vorlesungsreihe "Verbrechen und Strafe im Kino"

In der Interpretation exemplarischer Spielfilme wird die Vorlesungsreihe "Verbrechen und Strafe" erkunden, wie die Verzahnung von Verbrechen und Strafe im Kino dramatisiert wird – und welches Licht diese Inszenierungen auf unser Verständnis ihres Zusammenhangs werfen. Veranstalter ist der Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen" mit dem Kulturamt der Stadt Frankfurt, Veranstaltungsort ist das Museum für Moderne Kunst. Mit Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther, Prof. Dr. Armin von Bogdandy, Prof. Dr. Christine Voss und Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke. Mehr...

Zukunft der Universitäten gestalten – exzellente Wissenschaft fördern

Das Statement der Sprecherinnen und Sprecher der Graduiertenschulen und Exzellenzcluster sowie der Rektorinnen und Rektoren bzw. Präsidentinnen und Präsidenten der Universitäten mit geförderten „Zukunftskonzepten“ zum Fortgang der Exzellenzinitiative von Bund und Ländern vom 9. Oktober 2014 im Wortlaut. Mehr...

Upcoming Events

19. Februar bis 15. Mai 2015

Ausstellung zum Thema "Klimagerechtigkeit" im Fokus von Wissenschaft und Kunst. The Human Face of Climate Change/Der Katastrophe Gesichter geben. Vernissage, 19. Februar 2015, 16.30 Uhr. Es stellen aus: Mathias Braschler und Monika Fischer. Podiumsdiskussion mit Prof. Dr. Darrel Moellendorf (u. a.) am 23. Februar, 19 Uhr. Mehr...

7 May 2015, 6pm

Lecture Series Frankfurter Forschungszentrum Globaler Islam (FFGI)  of Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders": Prof. Dr. Hans Kippenberg (Uni Bremen), Märtyrer in den europäischen Konfessionskriegen und in den heutigen Kriegen des Mittleren Ostens. More...

13. Mai 2015, 18.15 Uhr

Ringvorlesung "Theorizing Global Order": Prof. Pinar Bilgin, Bilkent University, Ankara, The International in Security. Mehr...

Latest Media

Translating norms: strenghts and weaknesses of a concept

Prof. Peter Burke.
Lecture series "Translating Normativity: New Perspectives on Law and Legal Transfers"

Translating political vocabularies in the Iberian Atlantic. Historical semantics and conceptual transfers

Prof. Javier Fernández Sebastián.
Lecture Series "Translating Normativity: New Perspectives on Law and Legal Transfers"

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...