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.


Das Recht der Grenze und die Grenzen des Rechts

Podiumsdiskussion miit Günter Frankenberg, Klaus Günther, Felix Hanschmann, Ophelia Lindemann, Valentin Rauer, am 25. Januar 2015, 15 Uhr im Mousonturm. Im Rahmen von RECHT. Ökonomien des Handelns 2, am 23. und 24. Januar im Mousonturm, einer Produktion von Kötter/Seidl in Koproduktion mit Künstlerhaus Mousonturm / Frankfurter Positionen, Muziekcentrum De Bijloke Gent, MaerzMusik – Festival für aktuelle Musik und dem Exzellenzcluster „Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen“ an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Gefördert durch das Kulturamt Frankfurt am Main und die Flämischen Regierung / Belgien. 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...

Lecture Series - Translating Normativity: New Perspectives on Law and Legal Transfers

As most normative orders, law is not only produced by politics, but it is rooted in language and traditions. Is it actually possible to translate norms? What happens when they are taken up by a different culture, having to operate in another language? How does their meaning shift during these processes, how do their function and even their normativity change? The title of the Lecture Series in Winter Semester is "Translating Normativity: New Perspectives on Law and Legal Transfers". More...

Upcoming Events

29 January 2015, 6-8pm

Lecture: Prof. Dr. Susanne Schröter (Frankfurter Forschungszentrum Globaler Islam (FFGI), Cluster of Excellence "The Formatino of normative Orders", Gott näher sein als seiner eigenen Halsschlagader - Muslime in Wiesbaden. More...

4 February 2015, 4-7pm

Workshop Series "Critical Normativities/Normative Disorders": Serhat Karakayli (Hamburg), Politics of Affect Between Intensity and Control. Judith Mohrmann (Berlin), Why Politics Can't Do away with Emotions - and why that is a Good Thing. More...

Latest Media

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"

Verantwortung, Führung, Zurückhaltung. Deutschlands außenpolitische Rolle im Wandel

Stephan Steinlein in conversation with Prof. Gunther Hellmann. Frankfurter Stadtgespräch XVII.

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...