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.


"Wahrheit im Fokus von internationalen Filmen, Gesprächen & Virtual Reality" - Exzellenzcluster Partner des 10. Lichter Filmfests Frankfurt International

Der Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen" beteiligt sich zum dritten Mal am Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International. Dr. Dominik Brodowski, Marcus Döller, Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther, Jonathan Klein, Holger Marcks, Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke, Johannes Röß und Sebastian Schindler sind Vortragende und Diskussionspartner während des Begleitprogramms, das der Exzellenzcluster wieder ausrichtet und das unter dem Titel "Truth is stranger than fiction" firmiert. Mehr...

Forschungsbau "Normative Ordnungen" auf dem Campus Westend

Upcoming Events

29-30 March 2017

Workshop: Begriff und Phänomen der Norm. Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase (Professor für Internationale Organisationen der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Exzellenzcluster „Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen“, Leibniz Institut Stiftung Hessische Friedens- und Konfliktforschung). More...

30. März 2017, 19.30 Uhr

Gesprächsrunde innerhalb des Begleitprogramms "Truth is stranger than fiction" des Lichter Filmfests Frankfurt International und des Exzellenzclusters "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen": Wenn Meinung zu Wahrheit wird - und Wahrheit zu Meinung... Mit: Paulina Fröhlich, Aktivistin der Kampagne Kleiner Fünf, Prof. Bascha Mika, Chefredakteurin der Frankfurter Rundschau, Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke, Philosoph und Principal Investigator des Exzellenzclusters "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen“, Dr. Fabian Steinhauer, Rechts- und Medienwissenschaftler Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Mehr...

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New full-text Publications

Szews, Johann (2017):

Zahlungsmoral: Überlegungen zum Zusammenhang von Schuld und Schulden mit Nietzsche, Weber und Bourdieu, Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2017. More...

Forst, Rainer (2017):

The Justification of Basic Rights: A Discourse-Theoretical Approach. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2017. More...