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.


The Grammar of Justice

International Conference of "Transnational Justice", Leibniz Research Group at Goethe-University Frankfurt, in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders". The Conference's title is "The Grammar of Justice", 10-12 September 2014. More...

XVI. Frankfurter Stadtgespräch

The next Frankfurter Stadtgespräch is entitled "Der Gefühlshaushalt des Kapitalismus. Geldgier als Strukturprinzip?" Prof. Ute Frevert (Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung) in conversation with Prof. Sighard Neckel (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders"), 25 September 2014, 7pm, Historisches Museum. Moderation Rebecca Caroline Schmidt (Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders"), presented by Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of normative Orders" with Kulturamt der Stadt Frankfurt am Main. More...

Rainer Forst Mitglied der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

Die Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften hat Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst am 27. Juni 2014 als Mitglied hinzugewählt. Zum Mitglied kann berufen werden, wer sich durch herausragende wissenschaftliche Leistungen ausgezeichnet hat. Mehr...

Upcoming Events

10-12 September 2014

International Conference of  "Transnational Justice", Leibniz Research Group at Goethe-University Frankfurt. The Grammar of Justice. More...

25. September 2014, 19 Uhr

Frankfurter Stadtgespräch XVI: Prof. Ute Frevert (Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung) im Gespräch mit Prof. Sighard Neckel (Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen") Der Gefühlshaushalt des Kapitalismus. Geldgier als Strukturprinzip? Mehr...

Latest Media

Brasil vs. Brasil

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

Ethik jenseits von Religion? Die Herausforderung christlicher und buddhistischer Werte durch eine säkulare Gesellschaft

H. H. the Dalai Lama in conversation with  Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst and Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt am Main

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...