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.
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Headlines

Trevor Paglen: The Octopus, 20.6.-30.8.2015


The Frankfurter Kunstverein shows a comprehensive exhibition of the US American artist Trevor Paglen. In his photographies, photo series and books Paglen analyzes military locations, secret organizations, and suveillance objects which are supposed to stay hidden from the general public. More...

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

20 June until 30 August 2015

Exhibition in the Frankfurter Kunstverein: Trevor Paglen. The Octopus. Mehr

30 July 2015, 7pm

Lecture and evening at the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" with following stand-up reception within the Max Planck Summer Academy for legal History: Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann (Postdoc Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), "The Language of Law on the Internet: Lost in Translation?". More...

2-3 September 2015

Workshop: Democracy and the Financial Order: Legal Perspectives. Keynote: Prof. Henrik Enderlein (Hertie School of Governance). More...

Latest Media

The Sociology of International Relations in India: Contested Readings of Global Political Order

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu
Lecture Series "Theorizing Global Order"

"Guess I got what I deserve." Der lange Weg vom Verbrechen zur Strafe

Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke
Lecture Series "Verbrechen und Strafe im Kino"

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...