Forschungsprojekte 2012-2017

Research Projects 2012-2017

Projects in Research Area 1: The Normativity of Normative Orders: Origins, Vanishing Points, Performativity

1. Normativity of Critique - Critique of Normativity (Prof. Dr. Nikita Dhawan)

2. Multi-Normativity (Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve, Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther, Prof. Dr. Dr. Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Prof. Dr. Armin von Bogdandy)

3. Power, Rule, and Violence in Orders of Justification (Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst, Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther)

4. Moral Actors in the Financial Market: Conditions of the Emergence, Maintenance, and Dissemination of Moral Norms in the Financial Sector (Prof. Dr. Axel Honneth)

5. Self-Interest vs. the Common Good: On a Central Issue in Economic Ethics (Prof. Dr. Rainer Klump)

6. Normativity and Subjectivity: First Nature - Second Nature - Mind (Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke)

7. The Bible as Norma Normans (Prof. Dr. Luise Schorn-Schütte)

8. Law and Violence in Cinema (Prof. Dr. Martin Seel, Prof. Dr. Angela Keppler)

9. Defeasibility of Legal Reasoning and the Special Nature of Legal Normativity (Prof. Dr. Marcus Willaschek)

10. The Professional Morality of Bankers: Milieu-Formation and Codes of Professional Ethics in Global Finance (Prof. Dr. Sighard Neckel)

11. Sustainable Development, Global Governance, and Justice (Prof. Dr. Darrel Moellendorf)

12. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Macroeconomics and Development (Prof. Dr. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln)

13. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Practical Philosophy with a concentration on the Philosophy of Law and Political Philosophy (Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke)

14. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – International Political Theory (Prof. Dr. Darrel Moellendorf)


Projects in Research Area 2: The Dynamics of Normative Orders: Rupture, Change, Continuity

1. Arenas of the Immaterial: How Human Actors Deal with Diverging Norms of Intellectual Property (Prof. Dr. Mamadou Diawara)

2. The Normativity of Formal Knowledge: The Exact Sciences, Equality and Situated Universalism in the 18th Century (Prof. Dr. Moritz Epple)

3. Iconology of Historiography: On the Pictorial Formation of Historical Thought in Modernity (Prof. Dr. Andreas Fahrmeir, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Jussen)

4. Calls for Repatriation in Postcolonial Discourse: The Restitution Policy of Ethnological Museums Since 1970 (Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kohl)

5. Imperial Policies and Religious Space in the Third Century AD (Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin)

6. Genesis and Validity of the Concept of the Secular (Prof. Dr. Dr. Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt)

7. Formations of a New Gender Order in Tunisia after the Revolution (Prof. Dr. Susanne Schröter)

8. The Normativity of Formal Orders and Procedures in the Ancient World: A Comparison between Mathematical and Judicial Rule Systems (Prof. Dr. Annette Imhausen)

9. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Anthropology of Colonial and Postcolonial Orders (Prof. Dr. Schröter)

10. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – History of Science of the Pre-Modern World (Prof. Dr. Annette Warner-Imhausen)

Projects in Research Area 3: The Plurality of Normative Orders: Competition, Overlapping, Interconnection

1. The Exercise of Public Authority on the International, Supranational, and Domestic Levels: Reconstructing Public Law to Face the Challenges of Multilevel Governance (Prof. Dr. Armin von Bogdandy)

2. The Transformation of Normative Orders: The Transnationalisation of Rule and Resistance
(Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff, Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase)

3. The Formation of Transnational Criminal Law Regimes (Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve)

4. Structures of Legitimation of Private, Intermediary, and Hybrid Regulatory Regimes (Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve)

5. Security Communication in Democracies (Prof. Dr. Gunther Hellmann)

6. Legitimation through International Law and Legitimation of International Law (Prof. Dr. Stefan Kadelbach, Prof. Dr. Peter Niesen, Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek)

7. From Biological Disarmament to Biosecurity: Securitisation or Humanisation of Biological Weapons Control After September 11, 2001 (Prof. Dr. Harald Müller)

8. Transnational Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights Through Cooperation (Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert)

9. The Legitimation of Non-State Regulation in Interconnected Normative Orders (Prof. Dr. Klaus Dieter Wolf)

10. The Legitimation of International Criminal Justice – Normative Openness as a Resource of Legitimacy for International Public Authority (Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard)

11. Professorship of the Cluster of the Excellence – Criminal and Criminal Procedure Law, International and European Criminal Law, Comparative Law and Legal Theory (Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard)

12. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – International Organizations (Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase)

13. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – International Relations and Theories of Global Order (Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff)

14. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Chair in Civil Law and Commercial Law with a special emphasis on International Intellectual Property Law (Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert)

15. Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Transnational Governance (Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek)

Legitimation Through International Law and Legitimation of International Law

The formation of new international and supranational entities has led to an increasing juridification of international relations. The legitimation of these new structures of power often comes into conflict with established national orders. Their claim to precedence vis-à-vis the diplomatic or power political calculations of single states is accompanied by positive norm-setting processes which are legitimated with reference to international law. The project explores narratives of justification in international law and human rights discourses in relation to their concrete empirical applications. It thus brings into the research area important insights about the plurality of legal justifications in context.

In this project we investigated justificatory narratives that refer to international law. Today, these are generally marked by a confrontation between positive and natural law approaches. Their normatively binding character was analyzed the by a historical (history of ideas) perspective on the emergence of the modern discourse of international law. In addition, we analyzed recent discourses in post-revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia with a focus on how transnational standards of justice, such as human rights, are applied locally.

The historical reconstruction was prepared by a conference held in Frankfurt in 2014. Until fall 2015 participants developed their contributions further and addressed, in the light of the discussions at the conference, the nexus between state, law and legitimation in early modern international law. Following another round of discussions of the most important results at a workshop at Villa Vigoni (Italy), contributions were published by Oxford University Press in an edited collection entitled System, Order, and International Law: The Early History of International Legal Thought from Machiavelli to Hegel (2017).

Narratives about the formation of theories of international law are all too often projections from later epochs originating in specific traditions of reception. On the other hand, strictly contextualist approaches are difficult to follow through consistently. For interdisciplinary research, a reflexive, moderate anachronism seems recommendable which recognizes the historic contingency of all theory, but does not succumb to the temptation to expose all thought to the suspicion of (proto-)colonialism and eurocentrism. Rather, the potential of these theories for constructive (or constructivist) reception should be made visible. This makes possible a better exploration of the impact of their visions of global order which developed in a particular discursive domain (international legal thought) and are at the origin of contemporary approaches to legitimizing international law.

In addition to the historical investigations, fieldwork was conducted to investigate the role of international legal norms in transitional justice procedures designed to tackle the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. It focused on the tensions between the domestic use of criminal law to punish perpetrators and external expectations regarding transitional justice. In Tunisia, a conception of transitional justice prevailed that often matched external expectations but neglected the demands of victims in crucial respects. By contrast, Egypt experienced a strong politicization of transitional justice that undermined the legitimacy of the few efforts that were undertaken in this direction.

The most important publications:

*Steffek, Jens and Leonie Holthaus: “The Social-democratic Roots of Global Governance: Welfare Internationalism from the 19th Century to the United Nations”, in: European Journal of International Relations, 2017, [online] [28.04.2017].

*Kadelbach, Stefan/Thomas Kleinlein/David Roth-Isigkeit (eds.): System, Order, and International Law: The Early History of International Legal Thought, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Kadelbach, Stefan: “Konstitutionalisierung und Rechtspluralismus – Über die Konkurrenz zweier Ordnungsentwürfe“, in: J. Bung and A. Engländer (eds.): Souveränität, Transstaatlichkeit und Weltverfassung – Tagung der Internationalen Vereinigung für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie (IVR) im September 2014 in Passau, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, Beiheft 153, 2017, pp. 97–108.

*Steffek, Jens: “The Output Legitimacy of International Organizations and the Global Public Interest”, in: International Theory 7(2), 2015, pp. 263–293.



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Iconology of Historiography: On the Pictorial Formation of Historical Thought in Modernity

The project explores how the history education media produced for a mass-market – schoolbooks, handbooks and textbooks, but also collectible picture cards – use images to articulate their narratives. Our central concern is the strikingly stable continuity exhibited by the various kinds of images used, and furthermore the pronounced national differences in how even shared history is visualized. On the one hand, software was developed to automate the evaluation of the very extensive historical image database (Paul Warner). On the other hand, the mass image corpus comprising serial image sources was subjected to qualitative evaluation (Judith Blume).
Constantly reproduced images or pictorial themes play a major role in shaping collective identities and the historical narratives through which they are justified and developed. Illustrations structure the narratives and dominate memory. Thus, the conditions of emergence of these pictorial narratives and the canonization processes they undergo feature prominently in almost all societies for which one can make a comparative examination of the formation and persistence of justifying narratives throughout the modern period. One of the unique features of this ubiquitous, everyday phenomenon is that it remains largely bound to national frameworks.
Primary responsibility for the project was assumed by the doctoral candidate Judith Blume who, together with student assistants, processed an image inventory of approx. 100,000 illustrations and prepared them for a web-based database that is accessible to the public. Her monograph “Wissen und Konsum. Eine Geschichte des Sammelbildalbums 1860-1952” (Knowledge and Consumption: A History of the Collectible Card Album 1860-1952) offers the first comprehensive presentation of this material, which is of prime importance for cultural studies. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, she demonstrates research procedures for studying collective pictorial knowledge. Several master’s theses have been devoted to the theme of the project, one of which led to a further doctoral project (Bramann) dealing with the image programs of school books (carried out at the University of Salzburg).
Keen interest on the part of students led to regular course offerings (Blume, Gorzolla, and Jussen) and to a close collaboration with the Georg Eckert Institute for International Schoolbook Research. We are currently working with the latter and with the Max Planck Institute for Art History (Bibliotheca Hertziana) on the systematic internationalization of the material base. Major findings were published by the German Historical Museum (DHM) in Berlin and were presented in public appearances at the German Historical Institute (DHI) Washington, the DHI Paris, at Brandeis University and at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Cooperation with authors and with teacher training programs is being actively promoted for the qualitative side of the project.
The technical implementation of the software was undertaking by Paul Warner in cooperation with IT specialists at Goethe University. Upon completion of the project, the software will be published in its current state of development.
The qualitative results of the research on image corpora, specifically on illustrated “national histories” and on collectible card albums and schoolbooks, has shown that even the current “European” narratives (as presented, for example, in transnational textbook projects between France and Germany) still convey predominantly national perspectives. Visual narratives remain amazingly stable even across dramatic political breaks. This can be shown by the ways in which the Carolingian period is illustrated in history books and school textbooks, which exhibit striking differences between Germany and France, for example.
When it came to software development, a number of problems could be solved – for example, the compression of images without loss of searching efficiency, the automated separation of images and texts also in the case of unconventional image formats and heavily stained originals of middling quality, the use of OCR with unconventional typefaces, the combination of different algorithms for automated image comparison, and the systematization of different types of images. Currently, we are still working on final solutions for integrating machine-learning elements into the image comparison routines, for automating facial comparisons in portraits, and – as a long-term goal – for crossing the “semantic barrier” at least on a selective basis.

The most important publications of this project:

Blume, Judith: Wissen und Konsum. Eine Geschichte des Sammelbildalbums 1860–1952, (doctoral dissertation), Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, 2016.

Jussen, Bernhard: “Toward an Iconology of Historical Research. Approaches to Visual Narratives in Modern Scholarship”, in: C. Caraffa/T. Serene (eds.): The Photographic Archive and the Idea of Nation, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015, pp. 141–166.

Jussen, Bernhard: “Plädoyer für eine Ikonologie der Geschichtswissenschaft. Zur bildlichen Formierung historischen Denkens“, in: H. Locher (ed.): Reinhart Koselleck. Politische Ikonologie. Perspektiven interdisziplinärer Bildforschung (Transformationen des Visuellen, Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Dokumentationszentrums für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, vol. 1), Munich/Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2013, pp. 260–279.

Fahrmeir, Andreas and Annette Imhausen (eds.): Die Vielfalt normativer Ordnungen. Konflikte und Dynamik in historischer und ethnologischer Perspektive (Normative Orders, Vol. 8), Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2013.

Fahrmeir, Andreas: “Zwischen Bronzestatue und Aktionskunst: Bildhafte Inszenierungen adeliger Lebenswelten in England im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert“, in: P. Scholz/J. Süßmann (eds.): Adelsbilder von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Historische Zeitschrift, Beiheft 58), München/Oldenbourg, 2013, pp. 99–115.



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From Biological Disarmament to Biosecurity: Securitisation or Humanisation of Biological Weapons Control After September 11, 2001

The rapid pace of biotechnological developments has enhanced the perception of biological threats. Simultaneously, a humanitarian perspective has found its way into the related security discourses and has underscored the relevance of global public health, biosafety, biosecurity and the containment of infectious diseases. The biological weapons control regime is situated at the intersection of these perspectives. In this research project, we analyze the consequences of the merging of security and humanitarian (health) aspects for biological disarmament and the role that different notions of distributive and procedural justice play in these developments.

The project scrutinizes the plurality of normative types of legitimation in humanitarian and security discourses taking as its empirical basis the conflicts within the existing biological weapons control regime. It investigates how global normative notions of security impact upon the regimes regulating biological weapons, biotechnological research and global health policy.

Starting from inductive observations, bioweapons control and biosecurity, including their inherent justice conflicts, were analyzed empirically and conceptually. Field research during diplomatic meetings of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which project collaborator and doctoral candidate Una Becker-Jakob attended as an adviser to the German delegation, provided additional empirical insights. Knowledge transfer from the project is taking place through the annual meetings of the German Working Group on “Disarmament and Nonproliferation of Biological and Chemical Weapons” which Una Becker-Jakob co-directs with colleagues from Technische Universität Darmstadt and Universität Hamburg. The Working Group comprises representatives from relevant ministries and government agencies, members of parliament and of the armed forces, as well as academics from social science, international law, and the life sciences.

The empirically based assumption that humanitarian notions are increasingly merging with security discourses about biological weapons control was confirmed and elaborated by our research. Our analysis showed that health- and security-related arguments are not only discussed in parallel, but also play out and are played off against each other in diplomatic negotiations. This reflects priorities which are informed by different patterns of legitimation and whose respective normative bases stem in part from other normative orders (such as development, global health, or biological diversity). The empirical analysis demonstrated that these developments have direct negative consequences for the performance and stability of the normative order of biological weapons control. These effects will be analyzed in the final project phase of the project (ending in fall 2017).

The most important events of this project:

Lecture: "The BWC: Issues for the 2016 Review Conference", Una Becker-Jakob, EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Conference of the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium, Brussels, Belgium, September 11–12, 2015.

Workshop: Biowaffenkontrolle und Biosicherheit, planned and performed for the program office of GIZ, German G8 partnership program for biosecurity, Berlin, September 26, 2013.


The most important publications of this project:

Becker-Jakob, Una: “Building Confidence Over Biological Matters in the Middle East”, in: H. Müller and D. Müller (eds.): WMD Arms Control in the Middle East: Prospects, Obstacles and Options, Farnham: Ashgate (Routledge), 2015, pp. 165–173.

Becker-Jakob, Una: “Balanced Minimalism: The Biological Weapons Convention After Its 7th Review Conference”, PRIF Report No. 120, Frankfurt am Main, 2013, [online] [05.10.2017].

Müller, Harald/Una Becker-Jakob/Tabea Seidler-Diekmann: "Regime Conflicts and Norm Dynamics: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons", in: H. Müller and C. Wunderlich, (eds.): Norm Dynamics in Multilateral Arms Control. Interests, Conflicts, and Justice, Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press, 2013, pp. 51–81.

Another reviewed essay as well as another PRIF-Report are in planning.


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Transnational Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights Through Cooperation

The fundamental problem of the international intellectual property (IP) system has always been that the rights of inventors, authors, etc., are territorially limited. There is no world patent or world copyright, but only a bundle of national IP rights. At the same time, communication and commerce do not come to a halt at national borders. This discrepancy between national regulation and transnational exchange impedes the enforcement of IP rights in practice.

The project analyzed from a legal point of view the legality and legitimacy of different forms of cooperation between public and private actors who thereby try to mitigate or even overcome the drawbacks of a mosaic of national IP rights in a largely globalized economy. Three forms of cooperation can be distinguished:

Strictly private cooperation between right holders occurs in form of networks of contracts. These contractual networks enable the transnational use of knowledge in spite of a multitude of rights (patent pools, collecting societies, Open Source, Wikipedia).

Cooperation between the judicial and executive branches: Since the legislative branch is incapable of acting due to the unanimity principle, a tendency of cooperation between other public authorities can be observed. Courts consider relevant foreign decisions during their decision-making-process (for instance concerning the patentability of certain inventions), which leads to a harmonization of judicial practice even in the absence of international or European law. In some areas of law (insolvency law, family law), courts already collaborate with each other to cope with transnational insolvency proceedings and family matters. Such cooperation is now being discussed in the context of multistate IP proceedings. Patent offices also collaborate and exchange information in order to handle parallel patent applications.

Cooperation between public authorities and private individuals: Finally, cooperation also takes place between public authorities and private parties. The EU Commission mediated memoranda of understanding between publishers, libraries and collecting societies for the purpose of the digitalization and accessibility of out-of-commerce works, and between online retailers like eBay and right holders concerning the enforcement of trademarks and copyrights on these platforms. The European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy has been created to reduce enforcement loopholes by enabling right holders to join forces and share information. Additionally, the Observatory is developing best practices on enforcement.

Several dissertations (legal PhDs) addressed such cooperation. In her dissertation, for which she received the 2015 Baker & McKenzie Prize of the Goethe University faculty of law for the best legal dissertation in the area of commercial law, Anja Becker examined how parallel IP infringement proceedings before courts in different countries are coordinated procedurally and whether an active cooperation between courts of different countries can be legal and legitimate. Dominik König’s dissertation explored whether classical contract law and theory can provide a stable legal framework for global, heterarchical Open Source license networks. In his dissertation, Michael A. Kümmel showed how large online content platforms like YouTube and Facebook implement uniform global standards when enforcing copyrights and trademarks, notwithstanding divergences in the applicable IP rights. Finally, in her dissertation submitted in 2017, Nora Luisa Hesse, who worked in the project between 2013 and 2016, criticized the close cooperation between customs offices and private IP rights holders based on the current EU Borders Measures Regulation, which she argued contradict the border measures set out in the WTO TRIPS Agreement.

The findings of these studies informed Alexander Peukert’s foundational article, published 2017 in the renowned Rabel Journal of Comparative and International Private Law, in which he provides an overview of the structures, actors and aims of the global unification of IP law. In this article, Peukert not only addresses international treaties as the classical tool of formal cooperation between states but also phenomena of legal unification without codification (“beyond the state”), in particular private regulation by contracts (e.g. Open Source licenses) and technology (regulation of online platforms) and the often overlooked but very important administrative cooperation between patent offices.

In sum, the results of this legal research provide valuable examples of and insights into the formation of transnational commercial law in the shadow of state law.

The most important publications of this project:

Peukert, Alexander: “Vereinheitlichung des Immaterialgüterrechts: Strukturen, Akteure, Zwecke“, in: Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht 81(1), 2017, pp. 158–193.

Hesse, Nora Luisa: Das EU-Grenzbeschlagnahmeverfahren in Deutschland und seine Vereinbarkeit mit dem TRIPS-Abkommen, Dissertation, Frankfurt am Main (Primary review on March 21, 2017).

Kümmel, Michael Andreas: Die Implementierung der Haftung von Host-Providern für Immaterialgüterrechtsverletzungen, Dissertation, Frankfurt am Main, 2016.

Becker, Anja Andrea: Verfahrenskoordination bei transnationalen Immaterialgüterrechtsstreitigkeiten, Berlin: Duncker & Hublot, 2016.

König, Dominik: Das einfache, unentgeltliche Nutzungsrecht für jedermann, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht unipress, 2016.


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The Professional Morality of Bankers: Milieu-Formation and Codes of Professional Ethics in Global Finance

The project “The Professional Morality of Bankers: Milieu-Formation and Codes of Professional Ethics in Global Finance” examined whether and how group processes and milieu-formation occur among professional actors in the international financial sector, where the processes in question could provide the social basis for the emergence of a professional morality and a form of “critical professionalism” in the finance industry.
The financial and banking crisis revealed not just the economic but also the profound social consequences of economic action in the financial sector. This prompted us to ask in particular to what extent and under what conditions financial actors (can) relate to the social dimension of their economic activity and also take into account the negative external effects of their business practices.
However, hardly any other occupational group has been the focus of less social scientific examination than the banking and financial professions. A further goal of our research, therefore, was to fill some of the resulting gaps in our knowledge and, if necessary, to correct common stereotypical assumptions concerning bankers.
To this end, the project drew upon the central insight from the theory of practice that, even in the economic system, actors are not exclusively interested in maximizing their own utility, but are also concerned with legitimacy and recognition. The sociologically relevant question is therefore not whether morality plays some role on the financial markets, but what financial actors understand by morality and social responsibility and what importance they attach to it in their working lives.
With reference to Émile Durkheim’s theory of the normative integration of functionally differentiated societies, our research findings were able to confirm that professional milieus and their codes of ethics play a central role in generating “solidarity” and in “curbing individual egoism” in modern social orders.
The research was based on comparative ethnographic milieu studies on professional groups in the finance industry at the Frankfurt and Zurich banking centers. Starting from the question of how bankers understand their own professional activity, we examined their “internal social milieus” (Durkheim) as reflected in their practices and symbols and in their worldviews and their communal patterns. Moreover, we studied the institutional processes that provide evidence of an ethical renewal in the financial sector, as documented, for example, by the founding of “ethical banks” or by critical debates within professional organizations in the finance industry.
The analysis of the interviews brought a dilemma to light: Although financial actors do indeed associate normative claims with their profession, these claims do not affect the social sphere that is especially in need of normatively guided action. The “professional morality of bankers” represents in the first instance an “internal morality” addressed to customers, employees or colleagues, while society plays only a negligible role as a normative point of reference.
At any rate, the homogenous composition of the social milieus from which managers in the financial sector are increasingly recruited is closely related to this inward-looking professional morality. The social disembedding of economic action in the financial sector is therefore not only a function of a systemic logic that elevates the orientations to profit and competition to its central principles, but also of the homogeneous milieus of financial actors who have lost touch to a large extent with other lifeworlds.
That other normative orientations are also possible within the financial system is shown by the analysis of ethical credit institutions whose everyday practices are not based exclusively on principles of economic profit maximization but are also highly compatible with social discourses on sustainability. In particular, criticism of conventional banking and its internal morality, it transpired, is a constitutive and recognized component of the professional biography of ethical bankers.

The most important publications of this project:

Lenz, Sarah: “Normativer Wandel im Bankenwesen? Eine Analyse kritischer Distanzierung `ethischer Banker´“, in: K. Backhaus /D. Roth-Isigkeit (eds.): Praktiken der Kritik. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2016.

Czingon, Claudia: “’Wirtschaftsethik‘, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility‘ und ‘Selbstreflexion‘: Selbstkritik im BWL-Curriculum deutscher Business Schools?“, in: K. Backhaus/D. Roth-Isigkeit (eds.): Praktiken der Kritik, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2016.

Czingon, Claudia and Sighard Neckel: “Banking in gesellschaftlicher Verantwortung? Zur Berufsmoral im Finanzwesen“, in: WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, 01/2015, pp. 71–84.

Herzog, Lisa/Sarah Lenz/Edgar Hirschmann: “Ethische Banken in Deutschland – Nische oder Avantgarde? Eine Analyse der Selbstdarstellungen alternativer Geldhäuser“, Institut für Sozialforschung Working Papers 7, Frankfurt am Main, 2015, [online] [05.10.2017].

Lenz, Sarah/Lisa Herzog/Edgar Hirschmann: "‘Ethische Banken‘ – Nische oder Avantgarde?“, In: WestEnd. Neue Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, 01/2015, pp. 85–95.

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People encounter normativity in many different guises; norms of various kinds regulate their conduct and make society possible. Among its juridical guises, law, injunction, and contract are possibly primary types (Hasso Hofmann). Jurisprudence has always been preoccupied with questions of the typology and hierarchy of the sources of law; it is devoted to the order of norms of the legal type and tries to develop rules governing conflicts of laws. But there are other forms of normativity as well: social rules and moral injunctions seem to be the main types, others being religious law and technical norms. The labels change their meaning and their semantics partially overlap. They fulfill different functions but share the claim to regulate human conduct.

The project involving the PIs Armin von Bogdandy, Thomas Duve, Klaus Günther, and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann dealt with systematic and legal-historical aspects of the phenomenon of multinormativity. Meetings during the initial phase served to clarify the concept of multinormativity. The concept was deliberately conceived in a broad sense rather than being restricted from the outset to the phenomenon of law or to a specific claim to validity or legitimacy.

For the annual conference of the Cluster of Excellence in 2014, the Multinormativity Project organized a panel that linked the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the field (directed by Thomas Duve [MPI for European Legal History]; presentations by Marie Claire Foblets [MPI for Social Anthropology, Halle], Stefan Kroll [EXC Formation of Normative Orders, Frankfurt am Main] and Milos Vec [University of Vienna].)

The part of the project devoted to legal history, located at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (MPIeR), dealt with the description and analysis of the coexistence, cooperation, and collision of different normativities in given historical constellations. Methodologically speaking, it was a question of integrating analytical approaches of jurisprudence, but also approaches from theology, philosophy, sociology, political science and social anthropology, into the historical work and of developing a transdisciplinary conceptual framework.

The first phase of the project was devoted to intensive discussions of the question of multinormativity, which was anchored in the medium-term research plans of the research concentration. The research concentration of the Max Planck Institute supervises, structures and develops the projects carried out within the Institute in the individual research areas with a view to the main theme. This made it possible to generate knowledge concerning significant historical constellations of multinormativity and to introduce it into the work of the project network at the level of the Cluster of Excellence. One focus was on early modern Latin America, with its characteristic boundary zones and hybridizations. A second aspect dealt with issues of “private legislation” and the dimensions of the juridical decision-making system directed to these questions. What is involved are innovations in the normative domain that accompany the development of modern economic society and, at the level of constitutional history, contribute to shaping the reorientation from government the governance. The Institute was able to draw upon its international relationships to promote the Multinormativity Project by involving foreign visiting scholars and doctoral fellows in the research. Thus “Multinormativity” was the main theme of the Summer Academy of the MPIeR in 2016. Moreover, this year (2017) the thematic focus of the journal Rechtsgeschichte published by the Max Planck Institute will be on the subject of multinormativity.

The contribution of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL) under Armin von Bogdandy dealt with multinormativity, above all from a systematic perspective. This is especially true of a project on dogmatics that originated in a collaboration with researchers from the Faculties of Law and Theology at the University of Heidelberg. In theology and law, dogmatics provides a conceptual template for processing inconsistencies internal to law or theology. At the same time, dogmatics is sensitive to normativities of other disciplines as these are applied to it. The aim of this collaboration is to develop a conception of dogmatics derived from interdisciplinary learning for public law and for (Protestant) theology that is appropriate for pluralistic, globalized and multireligious societies. This research was supported within the Cluster by a panel on “Dogmatics – Apology or Criticism of Normativity?” conducted by Matthias Goldmann and Dana Schmalz at the Young Researchers’ Conference in 2013. The lectures were published in the journal Staat (2014, Vol. 53, issue 3). In addition, the MPIL is conducting a large-scale project on Latin America aimed at structuring Latin American constitutionalism through shared principles and developing it in a progressive direction. This project gave rise to collaborations with PI Thomas Duve that were reflected, among other things, in conference presentations.

The systematic research in the history of philosophy and the lectures and workshops of PI Matthias Lutz-Bachmann focused on fundamental problems of the normative legitimization and delegitimization of political rule, as well as on questions of the justification of a philosophical ethical theory, especially as they bear on issues of human rights and human dignity. In this context relevant publications were prepared and in part completed for publication, some of them in cooperation with colleagues from legal studies, political science, general history and theology. Crucial for these research activities was the close cooperation with the above-mentioned colleagues from the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders.” With regard to the promotion of early career researchers, it should be noted that five candidates for habilitation worked on their dissertations in the context of the work of the PI.

In Klaus Günther’s subproject, the studies on legal pluralism already begun during the first funding period were continued within the now extended perspective on multinormativity and were supplemented with a critique of normative pluralism. Central to this research was the controversy with the authors Schiff Berman and Gunther Teubner. Schiff Berman’s theory of “management of hybridity” together with Teubner’s proposal concerning a decentralized collision norm generated internally by the individual global subsystems, which is supposed to resolve conflicts with the rationalities proper to the other systems, were subjected to immanent criticism. This primarily involved showing that the two authors can formulate their proposals only by presupposing an assumed, at least hypothetical and fictive, universalistic meta-norm. The current state of this research is documented in the article on “Normative Legal Pluralism.”

The discussion of this essay at two international conferences in Belo Horizonte in 2015 and in Cartagena in 2016 prompted suggestions to develop this meta-norm further in the direction of a rule of recognition of global law. Initial reflections along these lines were developed in an essay on Habermas’ system of rights. Parallel to this, the Multinormativity Panel and the subsequent discussion at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Cluster in particular provided the initial impulse for a study on the multinormative contexts of the application of norms. Norms do not exist on their own in the abstract and without context; they are always embedded in multinormative contexts of moral, legal, religious, political and ethical kinds, and are also connected with epistemic norms and rules of prudence. In these multinormative contexts, norms and normative orders support and explicate each other – always in temporally, factually and socially concretized constellations. They form a concrete, particular network of historically situated, locally and situationally available behavioral requirements. In particular cases, there is the problem that no one in the given situation is able to gain an overview of these multinormative references. This deficit is offset by justification narratives. They bundle and interpret multinormative references in such a way that they interpret and justify individual norms and normative orders with a view to the specific historical situation of a particular lifeworld. The current state of this research is documented by the article on parapractical justification narratives.

The most important publications of this project:

Duve, Thomas: “Salamanca in Amerika“, in: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Germanistische Abteilung 132, 2015, pp. 116–151.

Duve, Thomas: “Entanglements in Legal History. Introductory Remarks” and “European Legal History – Concepts, Methods, Challenges”, in: T. Duve (ed.): Entanglements in Legal History: Conceptual Approaches, Global Perspectives on Legal History, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History Open Access Publication, Frankfurt am Main, 2014, pp. 3–25, pp. 29–66, [online] [05.10.2017].

Günther, Klaus: “Parapraktische Rechtfertigungsnarrative“, in: Jochen Schuff and Martin Seel (eds.): Erzählungen und Gegenerzählungen. Terror und Krieg im Kino des 21. Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, 2016, pp. 101–124.

Günther, Klaus: Normativer Rechtspluralismus – eine Kritik, Normative Orders Working Paper 03/2014, [online] [05.10.2017].

Goldmann, Matthias: Internationale öffentliche Gewalt, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2015.

Lutz-Bachmann, Matthias: “Does ‚ius cogens‘ exist in International Relations? Philosophical remarks to the Encyclical ‚Pacem in terris‘“, in: H.-G. Justenhoven/M.E. O’Connell: Peace through Law: Can Humanity Overcome War?, New York: Bloomsbury, 2016, pp. 65–82.

von Bogdandy, Armin/ M. Goldmann / I. Venzke: “From Public International to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority”, in: European Journal of International Law 28(1), 2017, pp. 115–145.

von Bogdandy, Armin and Ingo Venzke: In wessen Namen? Internationale Gerichte in Zeiten globalen Regierens, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014. English Translation: In Whose Name?, Oxford: University Press, 2014.


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The Formation of Transnational Criminal Law Regimes

The project investigates the formation of transnational regimes of criminal law in the 18th and 19th centuries as manifested in international treaties, national criminal law codes, international discourses among experts and various state practices. One of the principal goals is to analyze interdependencies among transnational and national norms, actual state practice, and international discourses, conferences and organizations. Of particular interest in this context is the study of political crimes, which were perceived as posing cross-border threats to security and served as a narrative to promote the development of transnational regimes of criminal law.

The subproject enriches the research area with valuable empirical and historical material on the development of transnational legal orders in modernity. It reconstructs the formation of transnational regimes of criminal law in the 18th and 19th century. By focusing on specific areas of transnational legal cooperation – extradition, political asylum, judicial assistance and police cooperation – and a variety of state and non-state actors, ranging from the European powers to states in Latin America and Asia, this research uncovers the interdependencies among transnational regimes of security and criminal law as well as international normative orders. These enable us to explain the emergence of legal pluralism, fragmentation and collisions of legal regimes.

Two dissertation projects tackled important questions. Conrad Tyrichter analyzed “Political Crime and Transnational Criminal Law Regimes in the 19th Century: The Example of the German Confederation,” and Tina Hannappe researched “Transnational Criminal Law Regimes, 1871-1914: The Reactions of German and European Legal Systems to Political Violence.” A 2014 workshop yielded an edited volume, which is due to appear in 1917 and whose working title is “International Security, Political Crime and Resistance: The Transnationalization of Normative Orders and the Formation of Criminal Law Regimes in the 19th and 20th Centuries.” In addition, the team expanded its cooperation with the ERC research project in Leiden (B. de Graaf) and the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) “Dynamics of Security” in Marburg/Giessen.

Investigating political crime and conflicts, ranging from political dissidence, refugees and exiles, to insurgencies, assassinations and other forms of political violence, which were perceived as cross-border security threats or were criminalized, emphasizes the significance of narratives of justification for the emergence of normative orders. It shows the extent to which observable processes of securitization and desecuritization, as well as codification and recodification, contributed to a durable normative order of transnational security and to criminal law regimes, and with it, to transnational governance of violence, crime and security.

The most important publications of this project:

Härter, Karl/Tina Hannappel/Conrad Tyrichter (eds.): International Security, Political Crime, and Resistance: The Transnationalisation of Normative Orders and the Formation of Criminal Law Regimes in the 19th and 20th Century, forthcoming.

Härter, Karl: “Security and Transnational Policing of Political Subversion and International Crime in Central Europe after 1815”, in: B. de Graaf/I. de Haan/B. Vick (eds.): Securing Europe. 1815 and the new European security culture, forthcoming.

Härter, Karl: “Attentatsbilder in populären Druckmedien: Politische Attentate und strafrechtlich-polizeiliche Reaktionen in Europa zwischen Aufklärung, Revolution und Vormärz (1757–1820)“, in: T. Haug/A. Krischer (eds.): Höllische Ingenieure. Attentate und Verschwörungen als politische Delinquenz, ca. 1300–1850, forthcoming.

Hannappel, Tina: “ ‘Doch konnten bis jetzt keine Thatsachen constatirt werden‘: Attentatsfurcht und Strafrechtspraxis am Beispiel Duchesne-Poncelet 1873–76“, in: T. Haug/A. Krischer (eds.): Höllische Ingenieure. Attentate und Verschwörungen als politische Delinquenz, ca. 1300–1850, forthcoming.

Tyrichter, Conrad: “Das Attentat auf König Louis-Philippe I. am 28. Juli 1835 und die Formierung transnationaler Sicherheitsregime in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts“, in: T. Haug/A. Krischer (eds.): Höllische Ingenieure. Attentate und Verschwörungen als politische Delinquenz, ca. 1300–1850, forthcoming.


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Structures of Legitimation of Private, Intermediate and Hybrid Regulatory Regimes

The question as to how non-state and quasi-state rule is to be legitimized became insistent already before the beginning of the 19th century, as modern statehood and civil society based on private law took shape as independent, autonomous spaces. The central concern of the project is the identification and accentuation of patterns of legitimation that arise with the emergence of such non-state or quasi-state activities, which themselves correspond de facto or de jure to the exercise of sovereign power. This can include the diverse forms of legislation, adjudication and the exercise of administrative competences as they were practiced in the 19th- and early 20th-century legal orders.

The project contributes to the research area “Plurality of Normative Orders.” The innovative regulation assemblages it examines make substantial contributions to understanding the social facticity of “normative plurality,” which relates to diverse and controversial narratives of legitimation. Such narratives of legitimation are identified by investigating legitimation requirements, legitimation criteria, such as legality, the common good, effectiveness and efficiency, and various sources and topoi of legitimation, such as autonomy, sovereignty, democracy or self-rule.

The project was able to build on the extensive prior findings of the project “Regulated Self-Regulation from a Legal Historical Perspective” from the first phase of the Cluster (2008-2011), which was primarily concerned with fields of practice and regulatory instruments of non-state and quasi-state regulation. As a result, work during the funding period beginning in 2015 was able to address the conceptual foundations and considerations arising from state theory and jurisprudence in relation to such modes of regulation and the references they make to legitimation.

Interdisciplinary cooperation with the political science oriented Cluster project on “The Legitimation of Non-State Regulation in Networked Normative Orders” (K.D. Wolf) was very fruitful and it benefitted from a workshop whose results have been published in the meantime.

While we were able to determine that the intensity of the (contemporary) scholarly debate on the legitimation of non-state regulation in Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries was, generally speaking, fairly thin, and thus did not play a significant role, there were indeed noteworthy exceptions. Terms such as “cooperative association” and “autonomy” in the work of the so-called Gierke School, as well as in Stein’s administrative theories (“Verwaltungslehre”) and the corporatist literature, are important points of reference. The latter’s strong orientation toward the democratic topoi of argumentation, even though it is actually classified as anti-democratic, is readily apparent. This seeming contradiction has to do with the fact that until the middle of the 20th century no uniform understanding or conception of democracy had emerged. Of more central importance were debates among practitioners and functionaries of the associations to which the project paid special attention. Topoi of legitimation with sector-specific contours developed within the context of these debates.

From an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective – which played an important role in the cooperation with the project “The Legitimation of Non-State Regulation in Networked Normative Orders” – the near-constant invocation of epistemic elements of justification is striking, as is the rich variety of input and output oriented approaches to justification.

The most important publications of this project:

*Collin, Peter: “The Legitimation of Self-Regulation and Co-Regulation in Corporatist Concepts of Legal Scholars in the Weimar Republic”, in: Politics and Governance 5(1), 2017, [online] [15.10.2017].

Wolf, Klaus Dieter/Peter Collin/Melanie Coni-Zimmer (eds.): ”Legitimization of Private and Public Regulation: Past and Present”, in: Politics and Governance 5(1), 2017, [online] [15.10.2017].

Collin, Peter: Privat-staatliche Regelungsstrukturen im frühen Industrie- und Sozialstaat, Oldenburg: De Gruyter, 2016.

Collin, Peter/Sabine Rudischhauser/Pascale Gonod (eds.): “Autorégulation régulée. Analyses historiques de structures de régulation hybrides / Regulierte Selbstregulierung. Historische Analysen hybrider Regelungsstrukturen“ (= Trivium. Revue franco-allemande de sciences humaines et sociales 21), 2016, [online] [15.10.2017].

Collin, Peter: “Regulierte Selbstregulierung der Wirtschaft“, in: Zeitschrift für Neuere Rechtsgeschichte 37, 2015, pp. 10–31.


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The Normativity of Formal Orders and Procedures in the Ancient World: A Comparison between Mathematical and Judicial Rule Systems

The project “Normativity of formal structures and procedures in the ancient world – A comparison of mathematical and judicial systems” is part of a larger project covering the time period from the ancient world (including Egypt and Mesopotamia) to the modern era. Systems of legal norms (constitutions, law collections, judicial texts for teaching purposes) and mathematical theorems or systems of mathematical rules both represent formal structures which are valuable for specific legal theory and epistemological aspects, as they are of a high inner coherence which enables deductions, aiming at enabling unique decisions for the solution of specific problems. Within both areas (law and mathematics), the existence of a formal structure is characterized by specific superior norms (below referred to as: meta-norms) which guide the structure and application of the system of norms/rules.

The guidance provided by such meta-norms, which are the basis for a formal understanding of judicial and mathematical structures and procedures, is a characteristic feature of a modern idea of law and mathematics. It was mainly devised and established in the first decades of the 20th century within the context of scientific and cultural concepts of the modern era. Hans Kelsen (for the domain of legal theory) and David Hilbert (for the domain of mathematics) are key figures in this development.

However – and this is where our current project starts from – even very early stages of written judicial and mathematical systems and procedures display certain formal structures. This is also apparent in further domains, where knowledge was put in written form. The formation but also the historical and cultural variation of these meta-norms which are linked to the setup and use of formal structures and procedures in law and mathematics may (and must) therefore be considered as a historical process of longue durée. To understand this process in its important stages better is the aim of our project.

The project analyses the normativity of formal structures and procedures with reference to ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hittite, Greek and Roman judicial and mathematical texts. Systems of norms which were generated by the earliest literate cultures indicate requirements for the normativity and characteristic aspects of formal structures, e.g. with respect to the language (grammar) used to express them. They prompt us to reflect about the terms “coherence” and “abstraction” and enable us to gain insights into the validity and acceptance of norms in pre-modern cultures and the procedures through which they were enforced.

The study of the systems of rules of ancient cultures that used writing provides fundamental insights into the conditions for the emergence and acceptance of formally structured systems of norms. Such features as the importance of casuistic practices, regional and chronological changes and the need for consistency and coherence in their logical structure make it possible to draw conclusions about the nature of normative systems in question that may also be useful in research on later and even on recent developments. The close collaboration with Prof. Moritz Epple and Prof. Guido Pfeifer fostered the discussion of the results beyond the boundaries of our project.

Discussion of the research topic and the selection of suitable source material took place at an introductory workshop in April 2013. This workshop also served as preparation for the international conference held in March 2015. The papers delivered at this conference were then discussed in a further workshop held in February 2016. This served to make interconnections between the chapters of the corresponding volume that is currently being prepared for publication.

Pre-modern mathematical and judicial texts exhibit distinctive formal structures whose normativity can be identified as early as in the texts from Mesopotamia and Egypt and enables conclusions to be drawn about the division of their content (e.g. the analysis of the Codex Hammurapi by Jim Ritter and that of the Codex Urnamma by Hans Neumann). Significant differences can be found between written legal texts from Egypt and from Mesopotamia (Annette Imhausen). Using Hittite (Daliah Bawanypeck), Greek (Markus Asper), and Roman (Peter Gröschler) legal texts and texts from Ptolemaic Egypt (Katelijn Vandorpe, Mark Depauw) several possibilities are presented about how normativity (linguistic features, formulas, specific design of writing material) was used to promote putative permanent validity and authority. In addition, Guido Pfeifer documented the use of mathematical values within Mesopotamian legal texts as a further connection between the two subject areas.
A publication that will be summing up the results of the project, is currently in preparation and will be published in a project volume in the series KEF (Kārum – Emporion – Forum. Beiträge zur Wirtschafts-, Rechts- und Sozialgeschichte des östlichen Mittelmeerraums und Altvorderasiens) of the Ugarit publishing house.


The most important events of this project:

Lectures: Hans Neumann (Münster) and Jim Ritter (Paris), Wissensordnungen im Codex Ur-Namma und im Codex Hammurapi (Colloquium History of Science), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main,  May 10, 2016.

Workshop: The Normativity of formal structures, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, February 4–5, 2016.

Lecture: Markus Asper (Berlin), On the Authority of Normative Texts. Inscriptional Law and Mathematical Literature in Ancient Greece (Colloquium History of Science), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, December 15, 2015.

International Workshop: Die Normativität formaler Ordnungen und Prozeduren in der Antike und im Mittelalter: Mathematische und rechtliche Regelsysteme im Vergleich, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, March 17–19,  2015.

Workshop: Normativity of formal structures and procedures in the ancient world. A comparison of mathematical and juridical systems, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, April 11–13, 2013.

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The Bible as Norma Normans

At all times, holy texts have been used as reference points for the legitimation and justification of political decisions. They served as an overarching framework from which particular political and social decisions of, for instance, early modern societies in Europe derived their claim of perennial validity. One example would be the use of certain biblical passages from both the Old and the New Testament in order to illustrate the character of good governance, to prove the validity of particular forms of political constitution, to sanction the use of violence and so on.
In this project, the reference to biblical passages as an absolute norm – as norma normans – was analyzed on the basis of certain groups of sources, especially collections of sermons, and with a focus on a comparison between different Christian confessions and between different regions.
The project helped to foster our understanding of how sacred texts legitimize fundamental norms and how respective narratives of justification function in society. In this way we were able to arrive at new insights into historical chronology and the genesis of basic rights as fundamental norms of modernity.
Transitional rites in early-modern Christianity – in particular baptismal rites, marriage rites (between members of the different Christian confessions as well as members of Christianity and Judaism or Islam), and the rituals associated with death (consolation rites in the event of death, mourning) – were analyzed as providing a key to understanding interconfessional and interreligious disputes. The basis of the research was provided by the rich sources in the Vatican archives.
Our analysis confirmed that the shared horizon of the controversies analyzed was invariably provided by the scholarly interpretation of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The controversies turned exclusively on the extent to which the Bible could be function and be recognized as norma normans both in theological justification and as regards its practical effects in the world. Based on an examination of the sources, the project was also able to prove that the emergence of basic rights had already begun in Europe during the sixteenth century. The elaboration of a comprehensive database provided the foundation for a systematic analysis of the argumentative use of certain Biblical passages (New and Old Testaments) in the conflicts to be analyzed, e.g. over the rights of women and of religious minorities. This made it possible to examine the extent to which “conscience” or practical tolerance exercised a norm-setting competence and how such a competence was established and changed or expanded over time.

The most important events of this project:

International Workshop: Grundrechte und Religion im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders“, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, November 27–28, 2014.

International Workshop: Religious contacts and conflicts in the rites of passage: European and extra-European perspectives on the Early Modern period, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main (supported also by the Max-Weber-Stiftung), July 3–4, 2014.


The most important publications of this project:

Schorn-Schütte, Luise: Die Reformation. Vorgeschichte, Verlauf, Wirkung, C.H.Beck: München, 7th revised edition, 2017.

Schorn-Schütte, Luise: Gottes Wort und Menschenherrschaft. Politisch-theologische Sprachen im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, C.H.Beck: München 2015.

Cristellon, Cecilia and Luise Schorn-Schütte (eds.): Die Bibel als norma normans – zur Entstehung und Praxis von Grundrechten im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Göttingen: V&R unipress, forthcoming.

Cristellon, Cecilia: “Due fedi in un corpo. Matrimoni misti fra delicta carnis, scandalo, seduzione e sacramento nell’Europa di età moderna“, in: Quaderni storici 1/2014 (April), special issue “Corpi familiari”, guest editors: M. Lanzinger, D. Rizzo, pp. 41–70. 

Cristellon, Cecilia and Silvana Seidel Menchi: “Religious Life”, in:  E. Dursteler (ed.): A Companion to Venetian History, 1400–1797, Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2014, pp. 379–419, (Cristellon, pp. 379–398).


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Self-interest vs. the Common Good: On a Central Issue in Economic Ethics

The supposed conflict between individual self-interest and the common good is one of the hottest debated issues in economic ethics, environmental ethics as well as at the intersection between ecology and economics.
Examples concerning planet earth ecology include air and water pollution, overfishing, the clearing of rain forest for agriculture, animal habit destruction, the over-exploitation of natural resources especially in so called ‘Third World’-countries, carbon emissions and the burning of fossil fuels/non-renewable energy resources and consequential global warming and climate change (i.e., ecological footprint).
From an economics perspective we have to debate the role of privilege- and rent seeking special interest groups, the phenomena of lobbyism and corruption, corporate scandals, the role of hedge funds, private equity, derivatives, investment-banking, gambling/speculation on the stock-exchange, insider-dealings, market manipulation, the alleged ‘greed’, avarice, and other forms of unethical behavior as well as the near-sightedness of (some) managers and the short-term oriented incentive systems of shareholder-value capitalism (e.g. bonus payments, thinking in quarterly periods; short-term economy), etc. – all seeming at odds with the broader and long-term interests of other legitimate stakeholder-groups like customers, suppliers, employees and the general public. All these phenomena may be summarized under the heading tragedy of the commons given their lack of economic, social and environmental sustainability.
This research project has been analyzing potential trade-offs and compatibilities between self-interest and common welfare. Both norms play a key role in economic theory as well as for the development and implementation of new concepts for economic policy and regulation.
The project is especially interested in the respective narratives that are used to justify the two norms. Because such narratives typically have their origin beyond economics in the narrow sense, the interdisciplinary framework of the Cluster is an ideal setting for studying the genesis and development of these norms in close collaboration with related disciplines.
The clash of different and differently motivated normative concepts, the emerging conflicts of interest and trade-offs as well as possible solutions were studied from a conceptual point of view as well as in the light of two case studies. One case is the emergence and implementation of the Equator Principles, a voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in the banking industry; the other case concerns the pros and cons of a paternalistic economic policy.
Standard economic theory postulates that “laissez faire” leads to results that satisfy self-interest and common welfare at the same time. As was elaborated in the project, this view is the result of a particular narrative that only emerges in early modern times and has always been confronted with other views from within and outside economics, in particular ethics, which point out the conflicting nature of both norms. The project showed both at the conceptual level and in the discussion of the two case studies that appropriate mechanisms of regulation, monitoring and sanctions are needed in order to make the results of economic behavior compatible with both norms. In the implementation of those mechanisms and interventions the danger of paternalism needs to be addressed if it is to be avoided.

The most important events of this project:

Workshop: Behavioral Business Ethics: Verhaltensökonomische und ordnungsethische Perspektiven, first “Frankfurt-Workshop on business ethics”, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, October 1–2, 2013 (in cooperation with the Center for Business Ethics, Gerhard Minnameier).

Workshop: 10 Years Equator Principles (2003–2013): Fragment of a Normative Sustainability Order or Business as Usual?, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, March 14–15, 2013.


The most important publications of this project:

Martens, W./Linden, B.v.d./Wörsdörfer, M.: “Deliberative Democracy and the Equator Principles Framework: How to Assess the Democratic Qualities of a Multi-Stakeholder Initiative from a Habermasian Perspective?”, in: Journal of Business Ethics 141, 2017, pp. 1–19.

Klump, Rainer and Manuel Wörsdörfer: “Paternalist Economic Policies. Foundations, Implications and Critical Evaluations”, in: Ordo Yearbook of Economic and Social Order 66, 2015, pp. 27–60.

Wörsdörfer, Manuel: “Equator Principles: Bridging the Gap between Economics and Ethics?”, in: Business and Society Review 120(2), 2015, pp. 205–243.

Wörsdörfer, Manuel: “Inside the ‘Homo Oeconomicus Brain': Towards a Reform of the Economics Curriculum?”, in: Journal of Business Ethics Education 11, 2014, pp. 5–40.

Wörsdörfer, Manuel: “Free, Prior, and Informed Consent’ and Inclusion: Nussbaum, Ostrom, Sen and the Equator Principles Framework”, in: Transnational Legal Theory 5(3), 2014, pp. 464–488.



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Defeasibility of Legal Reasoning and the Special Nature of Legal Normativity

A special feature of law is that justifications of judicial judgments are not conclusive. This can be seen from the fact that in the law it is always possible to refute or challenge the application of a legal rule R in terms of a justified exception. There are innumerable exceptions to legal rules.
The core concern of the project was to deepen our understanding of legal normativity through an analysis of the contestability of legal justifications. A specific focus was the analysis of the question of the relationship between contestability and indeterminacy. Does the fact that the exceptions cannot be enumerated also mean that the situation is normatively indeterminate?
The project was a contribution to the study of the normativity of normative orders and, in particular, to the partial question as to whether normative orders are subject to an incessant process of revision.
The project was conducted in the context of the dissertation of project collaborator Michel de Araujo Kurth and with the close support of PIs Marcus Willaschek and Klaus Günther. The basis was provided by a bibliography compiled in advance on the theme of contestability. Twice a year the results were presented and subjected to critical discussion in Marcus Willaschek’s research colloquium. At a meeting in March 2015, some of the sub-questions of the project were examined by renowned legal and moral philosophers. An essay by the project collaborator presenting the results of the project and an essay by Günther also appeared in an anthology.
Based on an analysis of legal contestability, the project was able to distinguish between two levels of justification judgments: a “rule level” and a “substantial justification level.” Analysis of the relationship between these two levels enabled the development of a new approach to answering the question of the relationship between indeterminacy and contestability. According to this approach, contestability and legal indeterminacy are mutually exclusive, because contestability means specifically that a judgment is accorded greater weight at the substantive level of justification than at the level of rules, and thereby implies normative determinateness.

The most important events of this project:

Workshop: Defeasibility in the Law (organized by Marcus Willaschek, Klaus Günther and Michel de Araujo Kurth, with Lectures by PD. Carsten Bäcker, Prof. Ruth Chang, Prof. Jonathan Dancy, Dr. Susanne Mantel, Prof. Josep Joan Moreso, Prof. Matthias Klatt, Prof. Andrei Marmor, Prof. Marcus Willaschek, Andreas Müller M. A., Michel de Araujo Kurth M. A.), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, March 12–13, 2015.

Panel: “Legal Indeterminacy in International law and Contemporary American Constitutional Law” (organized by Michel de Araujo Kurth), Graduate Conference of the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Praktiken der Kritik (Practices of Critique), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, December 6, 2013.


The most important publications of this project:

Willaschek, Marcus (2013): Defeasibility in Philosophy, Knowledge, Agency, Responsibility, and the Law, Sonderheft der Grazer Philosophischen Studien (special issue of Grazer Philosophischen Studien), ed. by: C. Blöser/M. Janvid/H.O. Matthiessen/M. Willaschek, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2013.

Willaschek, Marcus/C. Blöser/M. Janvid/H. Matthiessen: “Introduction“, in: C. Blöser/M. Janvid/H.O. Matthiessen/M. Willaschek (eds.): Defeasibility in Philosophy. Grazer Philosophische Studien 87, 2013, pp. 1–8.

Willaschek, Marcus: “Strawsonian Epistemology. What Epistemologists can learn from ‘Freedom and Resentment’”, in: Defeasibility in Philosophy. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 87, C. Blöser/M. Janvid/H.O. Matthiessen/M. Willaschek (eds.), 2013, pp. 99–128.

Willaschek, Marcus: "Moral ohne Sanktion? Anmerkungen zu Julia Hermann und Mario Brandhorst“, in: E. Buddeberg/A. Vesper (eds.): Moral und Sanktion. Eine Kontroverse über die Autorität moralischer Normen, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2013.

de Auraujo Kurth, Michel: “Selected Thematic Bibliography of Work on Defeasibility in Philosophy and Related Disciplines”, in: Grazer Philosophische Studien, 87, 2013, pp. 217– 257.


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Law and Violence in Cinema

The representation of violence has been an important guiding theme within cinema since its beginnings. There are very different functions this process can take in different genres. Nevertheless it has always been important to broach the issue of the law of violence and the violence of the law in cinematic narrations. Fictional films that depict events and states of open or latent violence, often question the legitimacy of social orders, in which violence occurs through their form of narration. These films are about the intimacy between law and violence.
Starting from exemplary films from different genres – mainly western, film noir, war films and police procedurals – the research focused on the question of how the aesthetic treatment in these films dramatizes the entanglement of law and violence. The investigation into these genres was based on the assumption that cinema imagines the connection between law and violence from multiple perspectives: movies tell stories about the evolution of normative orders out of experiences of violence and injustice and about the different forms of violence which emerge from a transient establishment or a permanent enforcement of those orders.
With respect to the medium of film, the project investigated how filmic fictions represent, question, diffract and display normative perspectives on social and political conflicts. In this way the aesthetic reflection within cinema was made productive for a theoretically non-illusionary view on normative orders and their dialectical connection with forms of violence that they often try in vain to restrain. Leading concepts of the Cluster – above all that of a "justification narrative” – were highlighted from the perspective of media theory.
At the basis of the project were philosophical and sociological analyses of the dialectic of law and violence as this is enacted in feature films. An important platform of research was provided by interdisciplinary lectures series and workshops in which speakers from different disciplines contributed to its general themes from their own disciplinary perspectives.
One of the central insights confirmed by our research is that views from within normative orders as they are presented by feature films are shaped by an oscillation between justification and questioning, legitimization and de-legitimization which is only rarely unequivocally dissolved.

The most important events of this project:

Lecture Series: Verbrechen und Strafe im Kino (Crime and Punishment in Cinema, Lecture Series “Cinema” of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Goethe University and MMK, Frankfurt am Main, summer semester 2015.

Lecture Series: Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino (Law and Violence in Cinema, Lecture Series “Cinema” of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Goethe University and MMK, Frankfurt am Main, winter semester 2013/14 and summer semester 2014.

Workshop: Rechtfertigungsnarrative. Terror und Krieg im Kino (Narratives of Justification: Terror and War in Cinema), Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, April 14.–15., 2014.

Panel: “Dimensions of Violence and Legitimation in Cinema”, on the Conference: Beyond Film (organized by Frederike Popp and Jochen Schuff), Amsterdam, July 10–12, 2013.

Panel: “Kritik auf der Leinwand“, in the context of the Graduate Conference of the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” Praktiken der Kritik (Practices of Critique) (organized by Frederike Popp and Jochen Schuff), December 2013.


The most important publications of this project:

Seel, Martin: "Hollywood" ignorieren. Vom Kino, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 2017.

Schuff, Jochen and Martin Seel (eds.): Erzählungen und Gegenerzählungen. Terror und Krieg im Kino des 21. Jahrhunderts (Normative Orders Vol. 16), Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2016.

Keppler, Angela/Frederike Popp/Martin Seel (eds.): Gesetz und Gewalt im Kino (Normative Orders Vol. 14), Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2015.


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Normativity and Subjectivity: First Nature – Second Nature – Mind

The project started from the assumption that normativity both presupposes and produces subjectivity. Subjectivity is understood in this context as the ensemble of the capacities of normative orientation. Thus the project inquired into the forms of subjectivity that are constitutive for (specific) structures of normativity. This question was pursued from a twofold perspective: from that of how normative orders are realized and from that of how they are brought about in the first place through the formation of specific structures of subjectivity. Therefore, this investigation aimed to conceptualize normativity in processual terms: normativity only exists through processes of subjectivation. The ultimate goal of the project was to develop a genealogical conception of normativity.
The connection to the overall research of the Cluster was twofold. First, the project focused on the topic of the formation of normative orders. It asked how the nature and the structure of normativity are to be understood on the assumption that it is generated through processes of subjectivation. Secondly, the project conducted its investigation of forms of subjectivation in an interdisciplinary perspective.
The research in the project had two focuses. The first was on the mode of formation of subjectivity and its consequences for the concept of normativity; at the center of this first field of research was the concept of freedom (as liberation). The second focus was on the normative structure of modern law; the question here concerned the specific mode of legal subjectivation in the form of “subjective” (or individual) rights.
The research in the first field showed that the genesis of subjectivity unfolds in a process of transformation that leads from a merely natural to a normative or mental being. This process constitutes subjectivity, which thus consists in the (processual) relation between nature and mind. Hence the freedom that defines subjectivity must also be understood as a process, namely the process of liberation. In his dissertation on the young Hegel written in the context of the project, Oliver Brokel showed that freedom stands in a relation of indissoluble tension to every existing normative order.
The research in the second field led to a theory of subjective rights which plays a fundamental role in the modern legal order. At the center of this analysis is the thesis that the form of subjective rights embodies an act of the self-reflection of law which inscribes the difference between norm and nature into the very structure of the norm itself. In modern law, its self-reflection is thus realized by way of an “empowerment” (Weber) of the subject. Further analysis was devoted to the political and social consequences of this subjective empowerment by means of subjective rights. The research on these topics has been published in Cristoph Menke’s book Kritik der Rechte [Critique of Rights] (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2015).

The most important publications of this project:

Menke, Christoph: Kritik der Rechte, Berlin: Suhrkamp 2015.

Menke, Christoph: “Hegels Theorie der Befreiung. Gesetz, Freiheit, Geschichte, Gesellschaft“, in: A. Honneth und G. Hindrichs (eds.): Freiheit. Internationaler Hegelkongress 2011, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2013, pp. 301–320. Reprint in: Christian Schmidt (ed.): Können wir der Geschichte entkommen? Geschichtsphilosophie am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus 2013, pp. 60–81. English Translation: “Hegel’s Theory of Liberation: Law, Freedom, History, Society“, in: Symposium. Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy – Revue Canadienne de philosophie continentale, 17(1), Spring/Printemps, 2013, pp. 10–30.

Khurana, Thomas: "Paradoxes of Autonomy: On the Dialectics of Freedom and Normativity", in: Symposium. Canadian Journal of Continental Philosopy, 17(1), 2013, pp. 50–74.



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Imperial Policies and Religious Space in the Third Century AD

The project is a contribution to recent research interest on "Post/secularism". Although the post secularism debate is mainly concerned with contemporary societies, the questions raised are also relevant to aspects of Ancient History. This holds for instance for the relationship of religion and public space and its transformation, which is of importance in all periods of history. This project aimed to follow up on the research of the Principal Investigator Hartmut Leppin, who has been looking at questions of the spread of Christianity and whether it prompted the neutralization of public space, which has been inspired by the post secularism debate.

The goal of the project was to examine how the Roman Empire dealt with religious pluralism after Christianity had become established, with its prominent claim to universal validity and exclusive truth. Inquiring into the role played by justification narratives in the formation of normative orders has proved to be very fruitful. This is true in particular when it comes to the importance of Christian narratives for the establishment of the Empire under a Christian ruler, a development that had not been foreseen in Christian discourse. In addition, the project contributed to the comparative perspective of the Cluster, specifically to critical reflection on some of its central concepts, namely, tolerance, recognition and post-secularism.

Work on this project involved, on the one hand, comprehensive studies by the principal investigator and, on the other, a series of studies focussing on particular topics, in part by the principal investigators himself and in part by project collaborators. The most important among the latter was a project by the junior researcher Sophie Röder that examined the governing practice of Roman emperors between 253 and 268 AD. Starting from a discussion of imperial legislation, Röder analyzed the different emperors’ reactions to the spread of Christianity and gained important insights into the impact of religious plurality on normative orders. She submitted her dissertation in January 2017.

Sophie Röder‘s work questioned the widespread thesis that it was the edicts of Valerian (253–260) and Gallienus (253–268) that led to the first systematic persecutions of Christians. She showed convincingly that this perspective developed out of the Christian tradition of interpretation of the sources. Of particular importance for Hartmut Leppin’s research is the observation that a temporary pacification could be achieved through policies aimed at the religious neutralization of certain areas. New narratives of justification developed in this context, which to modern ears have the ring of tolerance.

The most important events of this project:

Panel Discussion: Im Namen Gottes? Monotheismus und Gewalt, Prof. Dr. Mouhanad Khorchide in conversation with Prof. Dr. Harmut Leppin (part of the discussion series Stadtgespräch of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Historical Museum, Frankfurt am Main, April 19, 2017.

Lecture Series: Modelling Transformation (Central Lecture Series of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders), with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knöbl, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh, Prof. Dr. Eva Geulen, Prof. Dr. Andrew Abbott, Prof. Dr. Lorraine Daston, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, summer semester, 2016.

Frankfurt-Birmingham Study Day: Contesting the Sacred – Contexts of Greek and Roman Religion, University of Birmingham, December 4, 2015.

International Workshop: Religiöse Differenzierungen im Übergang von Kaiserzeit zur Spätantike, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, November 29–30, 2013.


The most important publications of this project:

Leppin, Hartmut: “Christianity and the Discovery of Religious Freedom”, Rechtsgeschichte / Legal History 22, pp. 62–78. (French translation: “Le christianisme et la découverte de la liberté religieuse”, in: T. Itgenshorst and Ph. Le Doze (eds.): La norme sous la République et le Haut-Empire romains (Scripta antiqua 96), Bordeaux, 2017, pp. 217–237.

Leppin, Hartmut: “Aspects of the Christianisation of Foreign Policy in Late Antiquity: The Impact of Religious Universalism”, in: G. Hellmann/A. Fahrmeir/ M. Vec (eds.): The Transformation of Foreign Policy. Drawing and Managing Boundaries from Antiquity to the Present, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 105–124.

Leppin, Hartmut: “Religiöse Vielfalt und öffentlicher Raum in der Spätantike“, in: M. Lutz-Bachmann (ed.): Postsäkularismus (Normative Orders Vol. 7), Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2015, pp. 335–360.

Leppin, Hartmut: “Überlegungen zum Umgang mit Anhängern von Bürgerkriegsgegnern in der Spätantike“, in: K. Harter-Uibopuu and F. Mitthof (eds.): Vergeben und Vergessen? Amnestie in der Antike. Beiträge zum ersten Wiener Kolloquium zur Antiken Rechtsgeschichte (Wiener Kolloquien zur Antiken Rechtsgeschichte 1), Wien, 2013, pp. 337–358; expanded english version: “Coping with the Tyrant’s Faction: Civil War Amnesties and Christian Discourses in the Fourth Century AD“, in: J. Wienand (eds.): Contested Monarchy. Integrating the Roman Empire in the 4th Century AD, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 198–214.

Leppin, Hartmut: “Kaisertum und Christentum in der Spätantike: Überlegungen zu einer unwahrscheinlichen Synthese“, in: A. Fahrmeir and A. Imhausen (eds.): Die Vielfalt normativer Ordnungen. Konflikte und Dynamik in historischer und ethnologischer Perspektive (Normative Orders Vol. 8), Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2013, pp. 197–223.


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Normativity of Critique - Critique of Normativity

Norms emerge historically and are differently operationalized in specific social and political contexts, so that they can neither be implemented nor contested in the same way at all times. Given that there is no guaranteed way to contest “normative violence”, subversion becomes an incalculable effect. This makes the practice of critique particularly challenging.
If critique’s primary function is to enable autonomy (the Kantian dictum of Ausgang aus der selbstverschuldeten Unmündigkeit), postcolonial-queer-feminist scholars question the coercive as well as progressive aspects of critical inquiry. If, as insisted in the Western philosophical tradition, “Enlightenment is critique”, then what is the relation of the postcolony to the legacies of European Enlightenment?
The aim of the research project was to develop an alternative postcolonial queer-feminist genealogy of the “politics” of critique in order to critically examine the relation between power, agency, and resistance. The project strove to analyze the forms of subjectivation and emancipation that align with this particular mode of questioning and contesting norms. It scrutinized how these practices can be understood within the ambivalent relations between modernity and postcoloniality.
Within the overall research program of the Cluster, this project examined in particular the ambivalences of the normativity of critique as a form of the exercise of power. In the process, it confronted the normativity of critique with the critique of normativity, analyzing how normative orders are continuously denaturalized, but also reproduced, and how in these processes agential subjects are constituted. The possibilities of thinking and acting otherwise and of questioning the borders of the “Political” were critically examined.
The project was divided into four individual research projects: The research project conducted by the PI, Nikita Dhawan, was concerned with the relation between “Normativity, Critique, and the Enlightenment,” examining in particular the ambivalent and paradoxical relation between rationality and power in which the promise of freedom continuously threatens to become a new form of domination. The second project, conducted by Aylin Zafer, examined how political subjectivity emerges in the spaces between passivity and resistance. In the third project, Johanna Leinius analyzed how, in the encounter between heterogeneous social movements, difference is negotiated and solidarity created. The fourth project, led by Elisabeth Fink, investigated the relation between local and transnational trade union activism in the garment sector in Bangladesh.
The project foregrounded the dynamic and relational aspects of the critique of any kind of power relations: To articulate criticism and create transformative emancipatory spaces, resisting subjects have to position themselves vis-à-vis hegemonic normative orders, whether they aim to contest, withdraw from, or appropriate the latter. These processes were analyzed both at the theoretical level and in empirical studies, in an attempt to identify the potentials for decolonizing alliances and to emphasize the ambivalences of emancipatory desires and practices.

The most important events of this project:

Workshop: FRCPS Chandra Talpade Mohanty Reading Group, in preparation for the Visiting Professorship for International Gender and Diversity Studies of Chandra Talpade Mohanty at the “Cornelia Goethe Center for Women’s and Gender Studies” (CGC), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, December 12, 2015.

International Conference: Decolonizing Epistemologies, Methodologies and Ethics: Postcolonial-Feminist Interventions, “Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies” at the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, July 2, 2015.

International Workshop: Difference that makes no Difference: The Non-Performativity of Intersectionality and Diversity, Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies in cooperation with the women’s network of  the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders” and the Hessian State Centre for Civic Education, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, February 5, 2015.

Public Lecture: Prof. Ratna Kapur, Precarious Desires, Postcolonial Justice and Human Rights, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, May 27, 2014.

International Lecture Series: How Does Change Happen?, Cornelia Goethe Colloquium in cooperation with the “Frankfurt Research Center for Postcolonial Studies”, Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, winter 2013/2014.

Workshop: Angela Davis Reading Group, in preparation for the Visiting Professorship for International Gender and Diversity Studies of Angela Davis at the “Cornelia Goethe Center for Women’s and Gender Studies” (CGC), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, November 14–15, 2013.


The most important publications of this project:

Dhawan, Nikita/Elisabeth Fink/Johanna Leinius/Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel: Negotiating Normativity. Postcolonial Appropriations, Contestations and Transformations, New York: Springer, 2016.

Dhawan, Nikita (ed.): “Difference that makes no Difference. The Non-Performativity of Intersectionality and Diversity”, Wagadu. A Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies, special issue, 2016.

Nikita Dhawan: Decolonizing Enlightenment: Transnational Justice, Human Rights and Democracy in a Postcolonial World, Politik und Geschlecht, vol. 24, Opladen and Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich Verlag, 2014.

Nikita Dhawan and Maria Castro Varela do Mar: Postkoloniale Theorie: Eine kritische Einführung, second edition, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2014.

Elisabeth Fink and Johanna Leinius: “Postkolonial-feministische Theorie,“ in: Y. Franke/K. Mozygemba/K. Pöge /B. Ritter /D. Venohr (eds.): Feminismen heute. Positionen in Theorie und Praxis, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2014, pp. 115–128.



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The Legitimation of Non-State Regulation in Interconnected Normative Orders

Normative orders exist in the plural, with non-state forms of norm setting and norm implementation complementing state-based regulation at the domestic as well as the international level. Their interplay takes various forms. On the one hand, governmental and intergovernmental regulators can still define the room for, provoke, condone or suppress non-state forms of regulation. On the other hand, state actors’ traditional repertoires of legitimation come under pressure. Narratives of regulatory legitimation need to redefine their purpose as well as their justifications.
The overarching research interest of this project concerned the question of whether the privatization and transnationalization of normative ordering goes along with a general decline of democratic standards for legitimizing regulatory regimes. The expectation of such a decline is supported above all by two developments: the rise of neoliberal governance paradigms that rely primarily on performance-based criteria of legitimacy and the growing importance of non-state actors as norm-setters whose regulatory authority usually rests on non-democratic grounds of legitimacy.
The project investigated the normative reference points for the legitimation of normative orders. It collaborated closely with the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (MPIeR), which investigates similar issues from the perspective of legal history. The work of both projects rested on a shared conceptual frame of reference and a range of questions developed in regular joint meetings: Do legitimation narratives for state and non-state regulations differ systematically or do they rest on a shared normative basis? Do changes in the predominant form of regulation call for changes in the legitimation narrative? Taking its guide from these and related questions, the ultimate aim of the project is to evaluate patterns of legitimation for state and non-state forms of regulation from a normative perspective.
In an attempt to widen the scope of our comparative research and include different cases of public, private and hybrid types of normative ordering, we invited renowned international and national researchers to share their expertise on legitimization patterns in the context of local, regional, national and transnational political ordering from the early 20th century to the present in a joint workshop held at the MPIeR in April 2016.
The results of this collaborative research were published in March 2017 as a special issue of the peer reviewed open access journal “Politics and Governance” on “Legitimization of Private and Public Regulation: Past and Present” that was co-edited by the project directors. An overall assessment of the various findings shows that no single identifiable pattern can be discerned that could provide an easy answer to the overarching question. The significance of criteria for legitimacy varies over time and according to the specific context. Moreover, the contributions highlight that justifications of the exercise of authority by private actors are closely intertwined with the perceived crisis of parliamentary systems. Democratic criteria are also less important when the “state prerogative” applies, i.e., when intergovernmental regulation exists. The values used to appraise the state-based components of the regime do not differ systematically from those used to appraise the private elements. Justificatory grounds founded on normative criteria relating to fundamental individual rights and democratic procedure do not appear to be diminishing in importance vis-à-vis performance-related considerations. One reason for this may in fact be the new quality of public authority exercised by private regulators.

The most important publications of this project:

Wolf, Klaus Dieter/Stefanie Herr/ Carmen Wunderlich/Svenja Gertheiss: Resistance and Change in World Politics. International Dissidence, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Wolf, Klaus Dieter/Peter Collin/Melanie Coni-Zimmer (eds.): “Legitimization of Private and Public Regulation: Past and Present”, in: Politics and Governance 5(1), 2017, therein: “Editorial” as well as several articles.

Wolf, Klaus Dieter and Melanie Coni-Zimmer: ”Empirical Assessment of (Policy) Effectiveness – The Role of Business in Zones of Conflict”, in: A. Schneiker and A. Kruck (eds.): Methodological Approaches for Studying Non-state Actors in International Security – Theory & Practice, London: Routledge, 2017.

Flohr, Anne: Self-Regulation and Legalization: Making Global Rules for Banks and Corporations, Basingstoke/Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Flohr, Anne: "A Complaint Mechanism for the Equator Principles – And Why Equator Members Should Urgently Want It", in: Transnational Legal Theory 5(3), 2014, pp. 442–463.



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Formation of a New Gender Order in Tunisia after the Revolution

The research for this project, which was embedded in the Cluster of Excellence’s thematic focus “Post/Secularism,” examined the newly negotiated gender order in post-revolutionary Tunisia. After extensive political wrangling and disputes, the transformation period ended with the ratification of the “new” Tunisian constitution of the “second” republic on 26 January 2014. Sonia Zayed worked with women parliamentarians from the Islamist Ennahda Party who participated in the constitutional national assembly and she observed decision-making processes within the Party.
The Tunisian gender order is defined by traditional customs, religion and seemingly unshakeable hierarchies. In this regard, patriarchal elites resist a process of social change that is being demanded by the country’s youth. This was the conviction that informed the Tunisian revolution. It is an issue that is intimately bound up with issues of law, economics and social policy.
Interviews were conducted to form a picture of the status quo with regard to the prevailing gender order in Tunisian society. Sonia Zayed’s own social position as a woman who wears a head-scarf played a central role, enabling her to gain the trust of women members of the Ennahda Party almost immediately, trust that would certainly not have been extended as readily to a male researcher. As a practicing Muslim and a scholar, she also won the respect of her male interviewees, who as a result answered questions they otherwise might not have. Yet, her particular social position also set limits to her work. The secular women’s rights activists from the “Association des Femmes Démocrates” refused to answer her research questions because they regarded her headscarf as a political symbol. For this reason she had to narrow her research question somewhat and focus on the women’s wing of the most prominent Islamist party in Tunisia.
The research results highlight the female actors’ rigid understanding of Islam and the persistence of traditional conceptions of roles. It is women who justify mechanisms of oppression and impose them on the youth. Islamists regard the patriarchal family as the foundation of Tunisian society and consider a father’s orders as not subject to challenge. Pre-marital sex on the part of women is seen as a punishable crime, whereas sex outside of marriage is only regarded as a trivial offence for men. The virginity cult is assuming increasingly bizarre forms and has resulted in the spread of practices such as anal sex between men and unmarried women, and has promoted the establishment of medical clinics specialized in the production and implantation of artificial hymens. Homosexuals have been forced underground and are prosecuted by the law. Divorced women are stigmatized and branded as “hard sells.” Moreover, Tunisian society has seen a marked rise in sexual violence, for which victims seldom press charges since the police almost always blame the victims.
In sum, the double standards analyzed in this study pose a serious problem for Tunisian women. Individual rights that protect women must be enforced in future, in particular against the normative encroachments of orthodox Muslims and the extremely influential Salafis.
The research results are currently being written up with the aim of submitting them as a PhD dissertation by the end of 2017.

Early results of the project were published as:

Schröter, Susanne and Sonia Zayed: “Tunesien: Vom Staatsfeminismus zum revolutionären Islamismus“, in: S. Schröter (ed.): Geschlechtergerechtigkeit durch Demokratisierung? Transformationen und Restaurationen von Genderverhältnissen in der islamischen Welt, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2013, pp. 17–44.

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Security Communication in Democracies

The unpredictability of global security dynamics confronts contemporary political systems with fundamental challenges. They are required to answer questions such as “Who or what should be perceived as a security threat and how can this threat be handled?” The concept of security communication enables us to study theses answers as legitimizing and ordering phenomena. The core question is how different forms of legitimization affect the stability of (post)modern security orders and how they can be shaped in (more) participatory ways. In a first approach, the project analyzed the justification of humanitarian interventions in terms of particular images of human beings. Gradually, however, questions concerning the reflexivity of security communication began to move into the center of attention: How can and should security policies be communicated in a democracy?

Through empirical analyses of specific types of legitimization, the project contributes insights into the narrative structure of contemporary security orders. The (in)stability of normative security orders is bound up with how they are communicated, their reception in the public arena and their perceived horizon of possibility. The ways in which security orders are normatively justified influence the range of security policy options and the basis of their legitimacy. The project contributes to the research area by describing the forms of normative legitimizations of state actors in their core domain.

During its initial phase in 2013, the project charted the field of research by conducting a workshop and drawing up a framework paper, which was presented at a major international conference in the area of International Relations. In addition, authors were recruited for an edited volume. At that time, the research into security communication was focused mainly on how it is disseminated in the media. In the course of the investigation, however, the center of focus shifted to the objects of reference of security communication. The results of this project will be published in an English-language volume which is due to be submitted for review by Cambridge University Press in late 2017 at the request of the responsible editor. Findings on the reflexivity of security communication have already been presented at a number of conferences and project collaborator Daniel Jacobi is completing work on a monograph on the projects findings.

The project initially examined the representation of security politics in the media as well as the objects of reference that were invoked to justify security politics. With regard to the research area, it could be shown how communicative forms are used to evoke specific images of human beings in order to “decomplexify” the justifications of the means and issues of security policy. Against the background of the discrepancy between the complexity of the global political security setting and the rather simplistic vocabulary, the question of the reflexivity of security communication subsequently became the main focus of the project – that is, the question of how security policy decision-makers reflect on the forms in which they present their agendas. The ensuing debate on German foreign and security policy, in line with the “Review 2014” process in the German Foreign Ministry, enabled a productive study of this question. Ultimately, it showed that the “structural reflexivity,” i.e. the rather simplistic underlying logical forms of thinking, are no longer commensurate with the complex security policy challenges we are facing. Viewed in this light, the fact decision-makers have not yet acquired the capacities to criticize and transform existing conceptual frameworks, categorical schemes and decision-making formulas seems to be particularly problematic.

The most important events of this project:

Presentations at all annual conferences of the International Studies Association, by Gunther Hellmann and Daniel Jacobi.

Workshop: Communicating Security, SAIS John's Hopkins University Europe, Bologna (Italy), October 26–29, 2016.

Workshop: Security Communication in Democracies: Security, Order, and Legitimacy in World Politics, Bad Homburg, November 5–7, 2015.

Lecture: “Shaping Powers and Leadership Challenges in Contemporary Europe: Germany and its Partners in a World out of Joint”, by Gunther Hellmann, in the context of the symposium Germany as Model. Germany as Partner. Global Germany, Georgetown University, BMW Center for German and European Studies, Washington D.C., December 13–14, 2015.

Keynote: Normative Powers and European Foreign Policy in a Minilateralist World, by Gunther Hellmann, 36th Annual Conference of the European Union Studies Association-Japan, Kansai University, Osaka, November 21, 2015.

The most important publications of this project:

*Hellmann, Gunther and Morten Valbjørn: “The Forum: Problematizing Global Challenges: Recalibrating the ‘Inter’ in IR-Theory”, in: International Studies Review ‘The Forum‘, therein: “Introduction“ (co-authored with Morten Valbjørn) as well as the essay “Interpreting International Relations“, 2017.

*Jacobi, Daniel: “Über die Beobachtung von Souveränität und Sicherheit“, in: Volk, Christian and Friederike Kuntz (eds.): Der Begriff der Souveränität in der transnationalen Konstellation, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2015.

*Hellmann, Gunther/Daniel Jacobi/Ursula Stark Urrestarazu (eds.): Früher, entschiedener und substantieller? Die neue Debatte über Deutschlands Außenpolitik, Wiesbaden: Springer-VS, 2015.

*Jacobi, Daniel and Annette Freyberg-Inan (eds.): Human Beings in International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

*Jacobi, Daniel: Sicherheitskommunikation in Demokratien, monograph, forthcoming.


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Transformation of Normative Orders: The Transnationalization of Rule and Resistance

The continuing process of globalization leads not only to denser international and transnational relations, but also to more pronounced dissent to global regulatory politics. This is evidenced in resistance to liberal economic models, disregard for international rules and open protest against ‘western values’. This could be related to the deepening penetration of international institutions and norms into national jurisdictions and the increasingly drastic adaptations they demand of state and non-state actors. Such forms of political resistance have not yet seen systematic treatment in International Relations because they defy the realist, liberal and constructivist paradigms’ attempts to explain them satisfactorily. Only a perspective that enables the normative and institutional forms of global politics to be understood as a form of rule can grasp and explain forms of resistance, opposition and radical dissidence, as a socially and normatively relevant phenomenon.

This project addresses the question of the relationship between rule and resistance at the transnational level. A central hypothesis is that the more transnational rule finds expression in domination and suppresses or curtails opportunities for participation and criticism, the more willing critical actors are to organize themselves at the transnational level to enhance the effectiveness of their resistance. A second, complementary hypothesis is that, in order to assert themselves, political orders must confront transnational agents of resistance and to this end must strengthen their international cooperation. Transnational rule is in this sense a response to the political challenge facing a normative order.

Two empirical studies were developed to test these hypotheses. One study analyzed the development of transnational networks linking security organizations, in particular the police, in response to the transnationalization of protest. The second study, by contrast, took the transnational networks and forms of cooperation of resistance (in particular, exit forms of resistance in ecovillages) as a starting point for establishing the extent of the transnationalization of governance structures and the forms they assume. The studies analyzed how far the two transnationalization processes influence each other (reinforcing/inhibiting/no influence). The two studies were able to show that the transnationalization of rule and resistance are closely interconnected. Forms of governance are becoming transnationalized in response to a corresponding transnationalization of resistance; and resistance is increasingly forming against transnational institutions and practices the more the latter are equipped with authority. This fundamental correlation was also confirmed in several workshops and conferences conducted by the project. In this context, however, it also becomes apparent that the mechanisms responsible for this diverge sharply between different forms of rule and resistance.

Both studies are approaching completion and some of their central results have already been published in, among others, a project volume published by Springer in January 2017. In addition, the research project has established a working paper series (international dissidence) of its own in which research results generated within the project and in the context of the project were published continuously. Furthermore, in spring 2017, the research project organized a major international conference at which the central research results were presented and which served, in addition to international publications, also the preparation of follow-up projects.

The most important publications of this project:

Daase, Christopher/Nicole Deitelhoff/Ben Kamis /Jannik Pfister/Philip Wallmeier (eds.): Herrschaft in den internationalen Beziehungen, Wiesbaden: Springer, 2017.

Pfister, Jannik: "Diesseits des Transnationalen. Die Verräumlichung widerständiger Praktiken von der Alterglobalisierungsbewegung bis Occupy“, in: K. H. Backhaus and David Roth-Isigkeit (eds.): Praktiken der Kritik, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2016, pp. 157–183.

Daase, Christopher and Nicole Deitelhoff: "Jenseits der Anarchie: Widerstand und Herrschaft im internationalen System“, in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift 56(2), 2015, pp. 299–318.

Wallmeier, Philip: "Dissidenz als Lebensform. Nicht-antagonistischer Widerstand in Öko-Dörfern“, in: Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (Sonderband II), 2015, pp. 181–200.

Deitelhoff, Nicole: "Leere Versprechungen? Deliberation und Opposition im Kontext transnationaler Legitimitätspolitik“, in: A. Geis/F. Nullmeier/C. Daase (eds.): Der Aufstieg der Legimititätspolitik, (Leviathan Sonderband 27), Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2012, pp. 63–82.


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Power, Rule and Violence in Orders of Justification

As many discussions within and outside of our research cluster during the first funding phase revealed, an understanding of “normative order” as an order of “justifications” faces the objection that it represents a form of idealism: Does such a conception of order leave any room for concepts such as power, rule, domination, and violence, or are the latter seen merely as disturbances? The aim of this cooperative research project was to refute this objection and to show that the concept of a “justification order” is suitable for reconceptualizing the above-mentioned concepts of power, rule, and domination in fruitful ways. This also has consequences for our understanding of the law.

(1) Noumenal Power (Forst)

In this research project, the concept of power was theorized – somewhat paradoxically – as an intelligible or noumenal phenomenon. If we understand power as the capacity of agents to motivate others to think or to act in ways that they would not otherwise have thought or acted, then we must situate power in the “space of justification” if we want to distinguish the modalities of power from mere physical effects. For exercising power means that A “gives” B reasons, which means in turn that power actually operates at the level of reasons. This does not predetermine how power is exercised – whether, for example, through a convincing argument, an act of seduction, a lie, or a threat – or whether the reasons in question are good or bad ones; it implies only that “having power” means (in ascending order) using, influencing, occupying or even “sealing off” the space of justifications that is determinative for others – for example, through dominant or hegemonic justifying narratives. To hint at a taxonomy of forms of power, “rule” exists when a specific order of justification has taken shape in which the social and political relations of classification and subordination are stabilized in ways that are based on acceptance. Domination appears where such relations cannot be justified because of their asymmetrical character and are legitimized by restricting the space of reasons in a one-sided way. Oppression, (illegitimate) coercion and violence arise where those who are subjugated count less and less and are increasingly unable to act as subjects of justification – the limiting case being where the space of justification is replaced by mere physical facticity, that is, pure violence. Power takes shape and is reproduced, therefore, exclusively in the space of justifications, and power struggles are conducted in this space. When the justifications of a system of rule are questioned, it may be able to endure through lies, threats, or recourse to means of violence; but its power diminishes to the extent that it is increasingly reliant on such measures without an accompanying narrative.

In the context of the cooperation with Klaus Günther and our collaborators Malte Ibsen and Johann Szews we received a number of visits from international guest researchers for talks and on fellowships and to conduct joint workshops – among them such world-renowned theorists of power as Amy Allen, Seyla Benhabib, Allen Buchanan, Nancy Fraser, Helen Frowe, Sally Haslanger, Bob Goodin, Carol Gould, Duncan Ivison, Tony Laden, John McCormick, David Owen, Michael Rosen, Philip Pettit, Anne Phillips, Bill Scheuerman, James Tully, and Melissa Williams. Our work was also presented at a large number of national and international venues.

The theoretical approach to “noumenal power” (in particular the paper in the Journal of Political Power [see below] and accompanying essays in Normativity and Power) prompted numerous discussions. In an earlier book co-authored by Rainer Forst with critics entitled Justice, Democracy and the Right to Justification (London: Bloomsbury, 2014), Amy Allen, Kevin Olson, and Tony Laden took issue with this approach. A further dialogue followed with Amy Allen and Mark Haugaard, which has also been published (see below). A set of critical essays by Albena Azmanova, Pablo Gilabert, Mark Haugaard, Clarissa Hayward, Matthias Kettner, Steven Lukes, Max Pensky, and Simon Susen is due to appear in the Journal of Political Power. Three further collections of papers on Forst’s work are underway which will contain critical contributions on the concept of noumenal power: Amy Allen, Sarah Clark Miller, John McCormick, and Melissa Yates will devote their papers to this theme (in preparation for Penn State Press); in another volume (in preparation for Manchester UP) Patchen Markell, David Owen, Melissa Williams, and Daniel Weinstock will contribute papers on power; and in a volume in preparation for Oxford UP, Mattias Kumm, Arthur Ripstein, Enzo Rossi, Andrea Sangiovanni, and Bernhard Schlink will discuss the relation between justification and power. Rainer Forst will write replies to all these essays. A large number of other articles, such as Lois McNay’s in the most recent edition of the European Journal of Political Theory in which she criticizes the theory of noumenal power, have already been published or are currently in preparation.

Rainer Forst’s research associate from 2013 to 2016 was Malte Ibsen (MPhil University of Oxford). During his time at the Cluster he wrote a dissertation on “The Idea of a Critical Theory of Global Justice” under the joint supervision of Rainer Forst and Axel Honneth. The dissertation aims to unearth the theoretical resources within the Frankfurt School tradition for developing a critical theory of global justice, ranging from Max Horkheimer’s early attempt to elaborate a materialist theory of society to Rainer Forst’s more recent theory of transnational justice. The dissertation argues that the tradition of Critical Theory provides us with both a characteristic conception of what constitutes a theory of justice and a conception of what justice is. The above mentioned conceptions of rule and domination within an order of justification play a major role in Ibsen’s approach.

(2) Justification as Law-Making [Recht-Fertigung] (Günther)

In modern legal systems, “positive” law is often referred to as “congealed politics.” But when analyzing and describing this phenomenon, it may be necessary to start earlier: law arises out of “congealed reasons.” What has proved itself in the space of reasons is stabilized with the help of the law and is equipped with the authorization to use force by additional justifications. But law is also a means for authorizing someone to impose his or her reasons against possible conflicting reasons. In this way, power becomes legal rule. This conjecture was deepened in several essays, in particular with reference to Joseph Raz’s characterization of authoritative reasons as exclusionary reasons. If a legal order can be traced back reconstructively to a decision by free and equal individuals to regulate their social life with the means of modern law (in Habermas’s terms: to form an association of legal subjects), then in doing so the latter also give rise to the type of exclusionary reasons. However – contra Raz – these reasons must be capable of being criticized (and altered) in turn in legally regulated procedures if the legal community of free and equal subjects is to be able to reproduce itself in its only adequate form, namely, as a democratic constitutional state.

The distinguishing feature of this research is its emphasis on the discursive and communicative dimension of power. Here it can be shown that the concept of exclusionary reasons is modeled, so to speak, on the prototype of noumenal power as this has been described by Rainer Forst. Exclusionary reasons function as reasons that are able to prevail against the reasons subjectively recognized by the actors involved. This, according to Raz, is because they are traced back to a legitimate authority that takes the place of the subjectively acknowledged reasons. In contrast to noumenal power, the authoritative power of the legal reasons is generated constructively by the legitimate authority. Nevertheless, it relies on the same mechanism of noumenal power. In further essays on justification narratives and on developments in criminal law it was shown that public criticism of the legitimate authority of exclusionary reasons can be bypassed or neutralized by embedding legal reasons in justification narratives. With such narratives, legal reasons can be relativized, bypassed, or even transgressed without having to expose the reasons to public criticism in legally regulated procedures.

The doctoral project (still in progress) of project collaborator Johann Szews entitled “Zahlungsmoral. Untersuchungen zum Zusammenhang von moralischer und ökonomischer Verschuldung” (Payment Morality: Explorations of the Relationship between Moral and Economic Debt) deals with a current aspect of the relationship between law and power: the debtor relationship. This project addresses basic social-philosophical and normative questions to the contemporary social order of indebtedness: What forms of subjectivity are implied by debt? To what extent can we speak of a “social pathology” of indebtedness? The study focuses on a core problem: How should the connection between moral and economic debt be understood? This research question is motivated by the intuition that neither functionalist, economic-theoretical problem diagnoses that emphasize the increasing economic instability resulting from high levels of indebtedness, nor critical approaches based on theories of justice that accord central importance to question of distribution, are sufficient for an adequate understanding of the form of the indebted life. The doctoral project argues that the conceptual framework of an ethical critique of capitalism is required to work out its immanent critique-worthiness beyond economic dysfunctionality and distributive injustice. The purpose of these reflections is to show that the form of the indebted life not only gives rise to unjust effects (for example, poverty), but also produces relations to self and to the world which are inherently worthy of ethical criticism. Building on a critical interpretation of Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Weber, the dissertation argues that forms of indebtedness are marked by a specific form of temporality. The central thesis is that the social promise of future freedom as a result of voluntarily assuming debt by taking on loans turns into a continuous subjective consciousness of guilt under conditions of over-indebtedness and the dependencies associated with indebtedness. The relationship between freedom and dependency in subjectifying relations of debt/guilt (Schuldverhältnissen) is analyzed by drawing on Michel Foucault's conception of relational power (thus going beyond Nietzsches und Webers conceptions of power). The form of the indebted life is criticized from the perspective of an ethical critique of capitalism and alternative forms of subjectivization are explored.

The theses of this sub-project have regularly been discussed in the “Colloquium on Legal Theory“ of the cluster, in which professors, post-docs and PhD-students are participating and to which occasionally external guests are invited (e.g. Fred Schauer, Robert Alexy, Richard W. Wright, Larissa Katz, Matthias Mahlmann). An important impulse for Guenther’s paper on “Parapractical Narratives of Justification” (Parapraktische Rechtfertigungsnarrative) was the workshop “Narratives of Justification – Terror and Violence in Cinema” (March 2014). Two international workshops were organized in cooperation with the “Research Center on the Theory and Ethics of Criminal Law“ (Prof. Andreas von Hirsch) on the topics of “Retribution and Censure“, (December 2014) and “Philosophical Foundations of International Criminal Law“ (April 2017). Guenther’s theses were presented and discussed also at an international conference on “Transitional Justice“ (August 2016) in Bogotá (Columbia), which was organized in cooperation with the faculty of law of Rosario University.

The most important publications of this project:

Forst, Rainer: Normativität und Macht. Zur Analyse sozialer Rechtfertigungsordnungen, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2015. English Translation (by Ciaran Cronin): Normativity and Power, Oxford: University Press, 2017.

Forst, Rainer: “Noumenal Power”, in: The Journal of Political Philosophy, 23(2), 2015, pp. 111–127.

Forst, Rainer: “Transnational Justice and Non-Domination. A Discourse-Theoretical Approach”, in: Barbara Buckinx, Jonathan Trejo-Mathys, Timothy Waligore (eds): Domination Across Borders, London/New York: Routledge, 2015, pp. 88–110.

Ibsen, Malte: “Global Justice and Two Conceptions of Practice-Dependence”, in: Raisons Politiques, (special issue on the theme “Practice-Dependence and Global Justice”) 51(3), 2013, pp. 81–96.

Günther, Klaus: “Parapraktische Rechtfertigungsnarrative“, in: Jochen Schuff and Martin Seel (eds.): Erzählungen und Gegenerzählungen. Terror und Krieg im Kino des 21. Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, 2016, pp. 101–124.

Günther, Klaus: “Zur Rekonstruktion des Rechts: Das System der Rechte“, in: Peter Koller and Christian Hiebaum (eds.): Jürgen Habermas: Faktizität und Geltung, Klassiker Auslegen, Vol. 62 (ed. by Otfried Höffe), Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2016, pp. 51–68.

Günther, Klaus: “De nihilo aliquid facit – Zur Kriminologie des effizienten Regelbruchs“, in: Henning Schmidt-Semisch and Henner Hess (eds.): Die Sinnprovinz der Kriminalität. Zur Dynamik eines sozialen Feldes, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2014, pp. 121–136.

Szews, Johann: Zahlungsmoral. Überlegungen zum Zusammenhang von Schuld und Schulden mit Nietzsche, Weber und Bourdieu, Normative Orders Working Paper 2/2017 (25 pages).


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Calls for Repatriation in Postcolonial Discourse: The Restitution Policy of Ethnological Museums Since 1970

Although extensive restitutions of stolen cultural artefacts were made in Europe already in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, almost another century would pass before the seizure of works of art in time of war was outlawed internationally by the Hague Convention on the Rules of Land Warfare in 1907. But the notion of the unlawfulness of such actions and the need to restore stolen cultural artefacts actually became established in international law and private law only after World War II. With the beginning of decolonisation, the extended set of norms to protect cultural heritage established by the Hague Convention of 1954 was also applied to corresponding restitution procedures in the former European colonies in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Since that time, postcolonial states have made demands relating not only to the restitution of the material cultural artefacts stolen and exported during the colonial period, but to all objects of cultural-historical significance preserved in European collections. The restitution claims were generally connected with a revalidation of the corresponding objects. These objects now became symbolic bearers of ethnic and national identity (not unlike what had happened over a century earlier in the various European nation-states).

The goal of the project is to ask how ethnological and archaeological museums in the German-speaking world responded to repatriation claims by non-European countries: Which objects were actually repatriated? What justifications were offered for refusing restitutions? And what changes in meaning did the artefacts undergo in the course of their transfer and the debate surrounding them?

Concrete normative political and cultural conflicts between western and post-colonial countries can be illustrated with reference to the discourse and practice of restitution. The development of a set of transnational normative rules can be observed in statu nascendi in the codification of restitution claims under international law. A further conflict of normative orders arises in the practice of restitution, in which the legitimacy of the restitution must be balanced against the concern for the conservation of the cultural heritage and the artefacts involved.

Based on a prior literature survey, 18 interviews were conducted with senior museum staff and officials. The evaluation of these interviews is documented in a 50-page report on the findings. The central research questions of the project have been incorporated into University instruction, into events held by the Frobenius Institute, and into graduation theses and two dissertation projects. In addition, Professor Justin Richland (Chicago) was invited to report on restitution policy in the United States within the framework of the Jensen Memorial Lectures.

Although the legitimacy of claims for the restitution of cultural objects is generally recognized by the relevant decision-makers, to date only a small number of restitutions have been made in Germany (an exception being returns of human remains). There are doubts about whether the demands are being made exclusively by persons acting as legitimate representatives of their respective groups, especially because artefacts have resurfaced on the international art market shortly after their return. More important than the actual restitutions themselves are the public debates triggered by the demands, given that it is the associated discussions that raise public awareness of the injustice suffered by the indigenous peoples.

The most important publications of this project:

Kohl, Karl-Heinz: “Der ‘Ureinwohner’ kehrt zurück. Mit Hilfe europäischer Klischees über ‘Eingeborene’ haben sich Indigene gesonderte Rechte erstritten”, in: Welt-Sichten. Magazin für globale Entwicklung und ökumenische Zusammenarbeit, 3/2017, pp. 12–18.

Fründt, Sarah: "Return logistics – repatriation business. Managing the return of ancestral remains to New Zealand", in: L.V. Prott, B. Hauser-Schäublin (ed.): Cultural Property and Contested Ownership: The Trafficking of Artefacts and the Quest for Restitution, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2016.

Kohl, Karl-Heinz: “Malanggan: Abbild und doppelter Tod”, in: V. Lepper/P. Deuflhard/C. Markschies (eds.): Räume – Bilder – Kulturen (Forschungsberichte der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Bd. 36), Berlin/Boston: Walter De Gruyter, 2015, pp. 169–188.

*Kohl, Karl-Heinz: “The Future of Anthropology Lies in its Past”, in: Social Research. An international Quarterly, 81 (3), 2014, pp. 555–570.

Kohl, Karl-Heinz: “Muss die Ethnologie sich schämen? In Berlin werden Forderungen laut, bei der Gestaltung des Humboldtforums solle auf Artefakte aus indigenen Kulturen verzichtet werden“, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung vom 17. September 2014, p. N3.

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Arenas of the Immaterial: How Human Actors Deal with Diverging Norms of Intellectual Property

The project examined the history of the introduction of intellectual property rights in Africa and how local social actors cope with these rights in a context of increasing global mobility. It studied the articulation of the legal framework of intellectual property rights in their local contexts, the ways in which local actors in Africa work with these legal norms and how they modify and adapt them according to their practices and interests. The project analyzed the tension in which legal norms for the protection of intellectual property which are aligned with international legal imperatives find themselves when they encounter established local norms and the corresponding sense of justice. Its objective was to understand the extent to which the different rights in intellectual property (authors’ rights, copyright, protection of patents, brands, folklore, and local knowledge) were established, the social conditions in which they began to make sense, and the complex local social networks that are involved and decisive for their successful establishment.

Trademark protection and authors’ rights, as “products of modernity” or “travelling models,” are being introduced into African societies in an ongoing process. In order to understand this process, it is important to gain knowledge about the conditions of the norms’ effectiveness in the reality of everyday social relations. As long as the norms are regarded as being exterior introductions, individual actors will follow them only when they are of immediate advantage to them and will demand that the state should provide effective protection of their rights. However, in order to do this, the state would require their cooperation. Similarly, the state representatives do not seem to follow the newly introduced rules either, since they are individual actors with their own interests as well. This creates a tension that can develop in a productive direction only when the participating actors are able to accept the rationale of such norms. Hence, the narratives of justification that accompany the introduction of intellectual property rights sometimes conflict with the actors’ interests and their unequal levels of knowledge and sometimes appear advantageous to them. This gives rise to normative orders that are characterized by intrinsic contradictions and are subject to constant dynamic transformation.

The research was carried out from three perspectives: from a diachronic, an actor-centered and a transnational perspective. Data were generated through a literature analysis and, above all, through extensive ethnographic field research in African localities. The study of the local perspective through “thick participation” and interactive interviews is what first enables anthropologists to grasp the local actors’ point of view, how they experience the norms in question, and their motives and justifications for their actions.

The results of the field research show that the different African governments, which are marked by their precolonial histories and by the various colonial and postcolonial ideologies, have developed very distinctive ways of dealing with cultural goods in the countries under study (Cameroon and Mali). Taken together, the results reveal a divergence between norms and daily reality or actual practice, specifically as far as the different discourses about piracy are concerned. They also point to the complexity of the local actors’ experiences that shape their actions. Hence, the state can no longer be understood as a neutral instrument for the implementation of norms; rather, both state representatives as well as the often well-informed local actors are guided in their actions by their own socially inscribed logics and interests.

The most important events in this project:

Workshop: Mamadou Diawara and Ute Röschenthaler, State regulations and Local Praxis (with early career researchers from Africa and Germany), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, July 14–18 and 27–28, 2014

Symposium: Who owns the praise? Oral literature, cultural norms and rights in artistic productions in Africa (on occasion of the 60th birthday of Mamadou Diawara, organized by Ute Röschenthaler and  Matthias Grubera), Lautertal, Mai 9, 2014.

Conference: How does transnational mobility transform cultural production? Informality and remediation in African popular cultures (organized by Ute Röschenthaler, Alessandro Jedlowski, Patrick Oloko and Ibrahima Wane), Point Süd in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, January 4–10, 2013.

International Conference: Intellectual Property, Normative Orders and Globalisation, part 2, (organized by Mamadou Diawara and Ute Röschenthaler), in cooperation with the ZIAF, Forschungskolleg Bad Homburg, June 2–4, 2011.

International Workshop: Intellectual Property, Normative Orders and Globalisation (organized by Mamadou Diawara and Ute Röschenthaler), in cooperation with the ZIAF, Forschungskolleg Bad Homburg, December 2–4, 2010.


The most important publications in this project:

Röschenthaler, Ute: “Copying, branding, and the ethical implications of rights in immaterial cultural goods”, in: N. A. Mhiripiri and T. Chari (eds.): Media Law, Ethics, and Policy in the Digital Age, Hershey, Pennsylvania: IGI Global, 2017, pp. 101–121.  

Röschenthaler, Ute and Mamadou Diawara (eds.): Copyright Africa: How Intellectual Property, Media and Markets Transform Immaterial Cultural Goods, Canon Pyon: Sean Kingston Publishing, 2016.

Diawara, Mamadou and Ute Röschenthaler (eds.): Competing Norms: State Regulations and Local Practice, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2016.

Diawara, Mamadou: “’La bibliothèque coloniale’, la propriété intellectuelle et la romance du développement en Afrique“, Canadian Journal of African Studies 48(3), 2014, pp. 445–461.

Diawara, Mamadou: “Justice in whose name: The domestication of copyright in Sub-Saharan Africa”, in: Gunther Hermann (ed.): Justice and Peace. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on a Contested Relationship, Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, 2013, pp. 140–162.


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Moral Agents in the Financial Sector. The Development, Preservation and Dissemination of Moral Norms in the Economy

The project “Moral Agents in the Financial Sector” analyzed the emergence, dissemination and efficacy of normative principles and actions on the financial markets from the perspective of economic sociology.
Markets were not regarded merely as functional, norm-free subsystems that operate exclusively in accordance with the rules of competition and of profit maximization. It turns out instead that, for the actors themselves, market activities constitute an order of action structured by ethical norms in which as a result they (can) also take their guidance from normative reasons.
The theme of the project was pursued in two lines of research: The first consisted in developing a normative understanding of the relationship between individual moral action and organizational structures. The second strand of research addressed the question of what ethics can mean in the financial marketplace in connection with the more general issue of the normative structures of markets as such.
The manuscript “Reclaiming the System: Transformational Agency in Organizations” by project collaborator Lisa Herzog was submitted as a postdoctoral dissertation to the Faculty of Philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt. This study examined the specific challenges that moral actors face as a result of their role in organizations, and used an innovative methodology that connects empirical findings with normative issues. Among the topics discussed are how morally relevant knowledge is processed in complex organizations, how moral actors relate to their professional role, and the responsibility for maintaining an organizational culture in which moral problems can be thematized and addressed.
Among other publications, a survey article has appeared in the English-language “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy” dealing with the importance of ethics in the financial market and in markets in general. In addition, a variety of perspectives on the normative value of markets are brought together in a collection of essays coedited by the PI and the project collaborator in which the selected texts are supplemented by explanatory introductions.

The most important publications of this project:

Herzog, Lisa: Reclaiming the System. Transformational Agency in Organizations (Habilitation), forthcoming.

Herzog, Lisa (ed.): Just Financial Markets? Finance in a Just Society, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Herzog, Lisa and Axel Honneth (eds.): Der Wert des Marktes, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014.

Herzog, Lisa: “Eigentumsrechte im Finanzsystem. Rechtfertigungen und Reformimpulse“, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 62(3), 2014, pp. 415–442.

Herzog, Lisa: “Markets”, in: Edward N. Zalta (ed.): The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2013, [online] [05.10.2017].


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Genesis and Validity of the Concept of the Secular

Secular society and religion are necessarily and constitutively related to each other in their self-descriptions in a way that constitutes each’s counterpart as the “other” to which they relate both as an indispensable semantic resource and as a threat to their identity. Every abstract and one-sided attempt to proclaim either the inevitability of secularization or the indispensability of religion therefore provokes the dismissal of this dismissal as a counter-reaction.
The notion that modernization is to be identified with a necessary disappearance of religiosity has met with strong criticism in recent years. But the refutation and relativization of this thesis and the proclaimed “Return of Religion” (Martin Riesebrodt) has also been contested. As far back as the 1960s, sociologists of religion began to criticize the narrow theoretical frame of the classical secularization thesis. Since the 1990s the classical secularization thesis has become the focus of a differently accentuated critique. It is formulated from a perspective that defines the “resistance to secularization” of religion more in terms of its politically active role and less in terms of its function as a mechanism of social integration.
Therefore, the question of religion is currently discussed not only in the field of the philosophy of religion, religious studies, or theology, but increasingly also in political philosophy. This is not only due to the political, social, and cultural developments in Western societies, which give more space to religion in the public sphere than was suggested by the classical secularization theories following Max Weber, but also to the changing premises within the philosophical debates themselves.
The main focus of one subproject was the investigation of the postsecularism hypothesis. Postsecularism, according to Habermas, is devoted to analyzing and explaining the growing awareness in secularized societies that, contrary to the still widespread secularization hypothesis, religion does not disappear from societies as they continue to modernize.
A second focus of this subproject was on postsecularism in the context of postcolonial theory. The question addressed was: How should the theoretical study of religion be understood from a postcolonial perspective under conditions of secularization?
The third subproject dealt with the challenges that the discourse of postsecularism, as understood by Habermas and Taylor, entails from the standpoint of normative political philosophy for justifying political orders, that is, secular, liberal democracies.
Having initially reconstructed Habermas’s and Taylor’s concept of postsecularism in the first subproject, we proceeded to problematize these conceptions by juxtaposing them with the programmatically contrasting approach of Talal Asad. This involved, in particular, reconstructing and critically questioning the epistemological dichotomy secularism/religiosity.
Moreover, the second subproject, through a discussion of universalism and particularism with reference to the concept of postsecularism, showed that the inter-contextual extension and application of the concept of postsecularism should be sought at the global level and not against the backdrop of secularization informed by universalism. The results of the second subproject were discussed in a very well-received international workshop in which representatives from Africa, Central and North America, Asia, and Europe took part. The forthcoming publication of these results will provide comprehensive documentation of the context-specific experiences that contribute to the theoretical study of religion in the postcolonial context and of their importance for politics in this context.
In the third subproject, we developed a position that situates the question of the religiosity and secularism of political interpretations and discussion contributions in the context of a theory of pluralism that does not accept the liberal democratic distinction between “appropriate” and “inappropriate” interpretations. Without attempting to understand religious patterns of interpretation as “reasonable” or “rational,” we asked what role that which is not reducible to reason can play in the justification political orders. The proposal was to formulate the question concerning reason and what is not reducible to reason in such a way that the focus is not on the question of reason and the rationality of articles of faith, aesthetic experiences, and the like, but on whether, when it comes to justifying political decisions, it can also be reasonable to appeal to what cannot be reduced to reason.

The most important publications of this project:

Lutz-Bachmann, Matthias (ed.): Postsäkularismus. Zur Diskussion eines umstrittenen Begriffs, (Normative Orders Vol. 12), Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2015.

Lutz-Bachmann, Matthias and Michael Kühnlein (eds.): Vermisste Tugend? Zur Philosophie Alasdair MacIntyres, Berlin: Berlin University Press, 2015.

Schmidt, Thomas and Annette Pitschmann (eds.): Religion und Säkularisierung. Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch, Stuttgart: Metzler, 2014.

Okeja, Uchenna B.: Normative Justification of a Global Ethic: A Perspective from African Philosophy, Lanham/Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.

Winandy, Julien: Normativität im Konflikt. Zum Verhältnis von religiösen Überzeugungen und politischen Entscheidungen, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2013.


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The Exercise of Public Authority on the International, Supranational, and Domestic Levels: Reconstructing Public Law to Face the Challenges of Multilevel Governance

The project “The Exercise of Public Authority on the International, Supranational, and Domestic Levels: Reconstructing Public Law to Face the Challenges of Multilevel Governance” analyzes the governance of international and European institutions and their respective courts from a legal perspective. These institutions sometimes have a major impact on State action and even on individual lives, which in turn raises the question of how their legal framework should be brought into line, or is already in line, with the principles governing the exercise of State authority.
Within the framework of the Cluster, this project contributes a specific legal research perspective that aims to generate doctrinal legal concepts and is open to the normative and empirical analyses of other Cluster projects. The findings of the latter help to generate doctrinal concepts and to achieve an adequate understanding of the impact and normative relevance of new governance phenomena. Conversely, doctrinal concepts may support other disciplines by providing a framework for descriptions of empirical reality.
An intensive discursive exchange between Armin von Bogdandy, Matthias Goldmann and Ingo Venzke led to a co-authored text (Bogdandy, Goldmann and Venzke 2017) on approaches to research on specific thematic areas. The potential of this approach in the areas of international financial, labor, refugee, and food security law was subsequently demonstrated in several workshops, a postdoctoral book project (“Habilitation”), and three PhD theses. Discussions in Frankfurt and Heidelberg presented this approach to the broader public with reference to TTIP and the sovereign debt crisis in Greece.
The concept of international public authority was developed further in decisive ways, laying the conceptual and theoretical foundation for legal research on the relations between State and supranational legal orders and between private and public law. The resulting approach provides important impulses for the research community, the clearest indication of which is the significantly increased interest in the concept of “authority” during workshops and conferences, in which the concepts developed by this Cluster project often play a central role. Moreover, the omnipresent criticism of phenomena of globalization highlights the practical relevance of this project. In addition, some of our team members have been able to integrate findings from our research into their consulting activities for international organizations.

The most important events of this project:

Panel: Was ist Recht bei TTIP?, Armin von Bogdandy in conversation with secretary of state Alexander Lorz (part of the discussion series Stadtgespräch of the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"), Historical Museum, Frankfurt am Main, November 10, 2015.

Workshop: In Whose Name? A Public Law Theory on International Adjudication, Asser Institute, Den Haag, September 8, 2015.

Workshop: Democracy and the Financial Order: Legal Perspectives (in cooperation with the German Law Journal), Keynote: Henrik Enderlein (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, September 2–3, 2015.

Panel: Hellas‘ Zukunft? Greece and Europe after the Referendum (with Armin von Bogdandy, Achilles Scordas, Michalis Ioannidis and Matthias Goldmann), DAI Heidelberg, July 16, 2015.

Workshop: IPA Meets Dissidenz (interdisciplinary workshop with Nicole Deitelhoff’s workgroup), Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders", Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, April 4, 2014.


The most important publications of this project:

von Bogdandy, Armin/Matthias Goldmann/Ingo Venzke: “From Public International to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority”, in: European Journal of International Law 28(1), 2017, pp. 115–145.

von Bogdandy, Armin: Pondering Schmitt's Concept of the Political for International Public Authority: On Methods, Standards and Disciplinary Settings for Public Law Theory, MPIL Research Paper No. 2016–22, 2016.

Goldmann, Matthias and Silvia Steininger: “A Discourse Theoretical Approach to Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Towards a Democratic Financial Order”, in: German Law Journal 17(5), 2016, pp. 709–746.

Goldmann, Matthias: Internationale öffentliche Gewalt, Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer, 2015.  

von Bogdandy, Armin and Ingo Venzke: In wessen Namen? Internationale Gerichte in Zeiten globalen Regierens, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2014. English translation: In Whose Name?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.



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The Normativity of Formal Knowledge: The Exact Sciences, Equality and Situated Universalism in the 18th Century

The project aims to deepen our understanding of the interaction between formal knowledge and the formulation of normative positions in the European Enlightenment. It provides a new translation of and commentary on the major philosophical text of one of its main representatives, Jean D’Alembert, namely, his Essay on the Elements of Philosophy, first published in 1759. Besides the translation and commentary of the text itself, the project includes three analytical essays which explore the context and focus the “scientific,” the “moral” and the “epistemological” position(s) of D’Alembert. Since it is characteristic of Enlightenment thinkers to combine science and morals, philosophy and politics, our goal is to highlight the specific form of interaction between D’Alembert’s reflections on the mathematical and physical sciences and his epistemological views and moral considerations. For example, when he discusses which kinds of knowledge are capable of certainty, he not only defines knowledge and certainty but also denies that religious and metaphysical arguments on matters of scientific or moral relevance have any claim to validity. For D’Alembert, in fact, morals is a science with a high epistemological status in need of further exploration and expansion. Thus he combines certain knowledge with reflections about the socio-political order, arguing, for example, that the anthropological law of self-preservation of a being dependent on others entails a radical policy of redistribution of wealth as long as luxury and poverty coexist within a single socio-political order.  

Since the research project focuses on the interaction between epistemological and moral (or political) positions, it fits well with the Cluster’s research on the historical development of varieties of normativity. The project thus provides historical input into the discussion of central concepts of the Cluster, such as equality and justice. Furthermore, it provides a prime example of the discursive strategies of (radical) Enlightenment explored during the Ancien Régime to provoke a change – a change in the way of thinking both about nature and society and, ultimately, about how to govern. It exemplifies how changes of normative orders are prepared in contexts which at first sight may appear to be non-political, such as the epistemological discussion of the order(s) of knowledge.

Our translation and commentary of the Essay was produced in collaboration with the French research network “Groupe D’Alembert” (CNRS/ Académie des sciences). On a number of occasions we exchanged working knowledge through meetings in Paris, Lyon, Montpellier, Göttingen and Marseille. In the course of these meetings we were able to recruit a member of the French team, Christophe Schmit, for a month’s stay in Frankfurt as a fellow of the Cluster. Schmit will contribute commentaries on several chapters and an introductory essay on the epistemology of the physical sciences. Alexandre Guilbaud, who provides the commentary on one chapter of the essay, was also recruited during these meetings. The core work on the project was performed by Dagmar Comtesse who completed her PhD in political philosophy in 2014. In addition, our bi-lingual student assistant Céline Volders provided extremely competent and reliable help in revising the translations of D’Alembert and of the contributions of the French colleagues.

The translation and commentary were completed during the second period of the research project. The principal thesis was confirmed that there is a strong interaction between D’Alembert’s epistemological positions on formal sciences and his conception of a moral science. At present this is being extended into a new research project aiming at a study of the political philosophy (or philosophies) of the Encyclopédie. The correspondences between formal sciences and moral science in D’Alembert’s thought were put to the test by Moritz Epple in several talks and publications focusing on the notion of “equality.”

The results of the project were presented by Dagmar Comtesse at the Congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Philosophie (DGPhil), September 2014 in Münster. The title of her presentation was: „Die Politische Philosophie der Encyclopédie“ (“The Political Philosophy of the Encyclopédie”). In October 2017 Dagmar Comtesse will present further results at the international conference on occassion of the 300-years anniversary of D’Alembert at the Université Montpellier. The title of her presentation is: „D’Alembert dans les débats de son temps“.

The most important publications of this project:

Comtesse, Dagmar and Moritz Epple: Jean D’Alembert: Versuch über die Elemente der Philosophie, forthcoming.

Comtesse, Dagmar and Moritz Epple: "Between Appropriation and Rejection: Translating D’Alembert into German”, and “D’Alembert on Translation", in: A. Guilbaud/C. Schmit (eds.): Tercentenary of Jean Le Rond D’Alembert’s Birth (1717–1783). A Review of the Latest Research, Special Issue of the Journal Centaurus, forthcoming.

Comtesse, Dagmar: “Religion, Religionskritik, Zivilreligion und Revolution”, in: Franziska Flügel-Martinsen (ed.): Staatsverständnisse in Frankreich, Baden-Baden: Nomos, forthcoming.

*Epple, Moritz: “Ulikhet, grenser og alliansen mellom de lærde og de store: Utidssvarende betraktninger fra en encyclopedist“, in: ARR – Idéhistorisk Tidsskrift 4, 2015, (= Liv, Arr, idéhistorie: Festtidskrift til Espen Schaanning), 2015, pp. 27–49.

Epple, Moritz and Dagmar Comtesse: “Auf dem Weg zu einer Revolution des Geistes? Jean d’Alembert als Testfall", in: A. Fahrmeir and A. Imhausen (eds.): Die Vielfalt normativer Ordnungen: Konflikte und Dynamik in historischer und ethnologischer Perspektive, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2013, pp. 21–47.


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Sustainable Development, Global Governance, and Justice

Severe poverty, massive inequalities and climate change are conspiring to create some of the most pressing practical problems facing humanity. Billions of people live in desperate poverty and are especially vulnerable both to shocks in the global financial system and to the impacts of climate change. A major moral reason to be concerned about climate change is the effect that it will have on the poor.
The extreme deprivation and vulnerability of persons living in poverty is inconsistent with an international order based on the inherent dignity of persons as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The persistence of severe poverty, growing inequality, and increasing CO2 emissions are evidence of massive failures in our current system of global governance.
Within Research Area 1, research on politics is not understood one-sidedly as a process in which power, rule and violence, or structures acting over long periods of time and other factors, conceived as “external” factors, operate, but as one in which norms and normative orientations play a central role. Numerous issues associated with the problem of climate change provided an occasion to address fundamental moral questions concerning the possible emergence of a just international normative order. For example, the term “right to sustainable development” can play an important role in the arguments of poor countries that international climate protection policy must not neglect their legitimate development goals. A certain kind of intergenerational normative order also comes to the fore with particular urgency in the context of such questions. The view that people who are now alive have a moral obligation towards future generations to combat climate change justifies climate protection policies, but this view in turn also requires specific forms of justification.
This research project combined investigations into questions in moral and political philosophy with analyses of international organizations and institutions and of the kind of action that produces appropriate social change. The research of the PI focused in particular on the social and normative context of climate change and poverty. The dissertation project of the PhD student and assistant Daniel Callies entitled “Intentionally Manipulating the Climate: The Ethics and Governance of Climate Engineering” addressed arguments that can be brought against climate engineering research.
Key findings were the justification and clarification of the concept of the right to sustainable development, as well as the development of a forward-looking account of responsibility for a regime dealing with climate change. The arguments developed in this context support the view that the international climate regime must be designed in ways that make it compatible with the goal of the least developed countries to pursue economic development to overcome poverty. In addition, the importance of poverty for identifying and responding to climate change was defended. The arguments developed by Daniel Callies support the view that, although climate engineering research cannot be prohibited on moral grounds, a legitimate international governance structure is needed to regulate research and possible applications.

The most important events and presentations of this project:

Lecture: Progress, Destruction, and the Anthropocene (by Darrel Moellendorf), University of Duisburg-Essen, May 2017.

Lecture: Progress, Destruction, and the Anthropocene (by Darrel Moellendorf), Liberty Fund/Social Philosophy and Policy conference, Redondo Beach, June 2017.

Workshop: Author-Meets-Critic-Section on his The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change (by Darrel Moellendorf), ECPR Prague, September 2016.

Presentation: “Climate Engineering and Playing God” (by Daniel Callies), Warwick Graduate Conference on Political and Legal Theory, University of Warwick, England, February 2016.

Presentation: “Institutional Legitimacy and Solar Radiation Management” (by Daniel Callies),  Science, Technology, and Public Policy Fellows Workshop, Harvard University, November 2016.


The most important publications within this research project:

Moellendorf, Darrel:  “Taking UNFCCC Norms Seriously”, in: D. Roser and J. Heyward (eds.): Climate Change and Non-Ideal Theory, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 104–124.

Moellendorf, Darrel:  “Can Dangerous Climate Change Be Avoided”, Global Justice Theory Practice Rhetoric 8, 2016, [online] [05.10.2017].

Moellendorf, Darrel:  “Global Distributive Justice: The Cosmopolitan Point of View,” in: D. Held and P. Maffettone (eds.): Global Political Theory, London: Polity Press, 2016.

Moellendorf, Darrel and Axel Schaffer: “Equalizing the Intergenerational Burdens of Climate Change–An Alternative to Discounted Utilitarianism”, Midwest Studies in Philosophy, XL, 2016, pp. 43–62.

Moellendorf, Darrel: "The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values, Poverty, and Policy", Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.


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The Legitimation of International Criminal Justice – Normative Openness as a Resource of Legitimacy for International Public Authority

The Cluster research project (which only began operation in early 2016) throws light on the practical legal phenomenon that there is no sign of a uniform public justification of international criminal justice. Although situated in the “space of justifications,” a characteristic feature of international criminal justice is the fluidity, plurality, diversity and particularity of the proposed justifications. In the context of the project, this is referred to as the “normative openness” of international criminal justice. But what is the appropriate response to this? Instead of supporting a unified justification or focusing on merely “managing” the possible normative conflicts, here the following position is defended: The aforementioned normative openness of international criminal justice is a legitimizing resource of international public authority, because it enables us to cope (better) with the “indeterminacy of rational justification” under real life conditions of normative fragmentation.

Starting from the research approach characteristic of the Cluster, the comparatively recent system of international criminal justice (to recall: the permanent International Criminal Court only began its operations in the early 2000s) was chosen as an instructive illustrative example for examining the formation, stabilization and crisis of a new legal system. In line with the program of Research Area 3, discussion focused on the competition and also the conflict between different normative frames of reference within a legal system that is not yet normatively closed by path dependencies, uniform preconceptions or widely shared ideologies.

The research project draws upon the entire research repertoire available to legal studies. The debate over the constitutionalization of international law, findings in social science (especially concerning the effect of ambiguous normative regimes) and political philosophy (in particular regarding how to deal with non-ideal contexts of justification), among other things, are included in an interdisciplinary exchange. A workshop is planned for late 2017 at which the main research results will be presented. The Cluster Lecture Series entitled “Criminal Justice between Purism and Plurality,” organized for the summer semester 2017, is a spin-off of the research project.

The approach of the research project has in essence proved his worth. The concept of “normative openness” is unique and thus has greater differentiation potential as a descriptive term than the overused terms “pluralism” and “diversity.” In addition, it shows that not only international but also national criminal justice is (at least latently) marked by its normative openness. When it comes to evaluating normative openness, it is crucial that under the empirical conditions of a normatively fragmented everyday reality there is little prospect of an agreement being reached on a particular orientation of a given criminal justice order. In the future, therefore, it must be shown how free and equal citizens can cope with the axiological irreconcilability of their normative positions in order to organize the normative plurality and diversity of (international or national) criminal justice systems along legitimate lines.

The central theses of the project are published as:

Burchard, Christoph: "Die normative Offenheit der Strafrechtspflege: Eine beschreibende Annäherung“, in: Saliger et al. (eds.): Festschrift für Ulfrid Neumann, 2017.

The most important events of the project were:

Workshop: Normative Openness – A novel concept to analyze and legitimize International Criminal Justice, winter 2017.

Presentation: "Openness and Dialogue as a Normative Foundation for the Justification of International Public Authority” (by project member Dusan Backonja), 3rd Seminar of the International Network of Doctoral Studies in Law: The Role of Dialogue in the Law Creation and Law Application Process, University Łódź, Łódź, Poland, March 9, 2017.

Presentation: "The Legitimacy of International Criminal Justice – Normative Openness as a Resource of Legitimacy for International Public Authority” (by project member Dusan Backonja), 4th Annual International Criminal Law Workshop The Politics of International Criminal Law, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, September 15, 2016.



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Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Macroeconomics and Development (Prof. Dr. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln)

The focus of the research of the chair of “Macroeconomics and Development” is on the analysis of the endogeny of economic and political preferences, as well as on the analysis of the labor supply behavior of households across the world.

Economists typically treat preferences as exogenous factors. The chair investigates whether and how individual experiences gathered in living under a particular economic or political regime influence individual preferences. The malleability of individual preferences is an important factor in the genesis of normative orders. Moreover, the chair investigates labor supply behavior of private households worldwide and traces implications for differences in welfare between rich and poor countries. These welfare differences influence the formation of normative orders and, on the other hand, the labor supply behavior is itself influenced in part by normative factors (especially in the case of women).

The chair investigates two broad topics, namely the formation of economic and political preferences and the labor supply behavior of private households. Regarding the first topic, a research project analyzed whether living under a democratic regime leads to increased support for democracy over time. The second topic is covered in different research projects. The broad research question is to document international differences in the labor supply behavior of private households and to analyze their causes and their consequences for measurements of differences in welfare.

Regarding the first topic, the research project showed that individual support for democracy does indeed increase the longer an individual has lived under a democratic regime, irrespective of the quality of the regime or other factors. Importantly, the study establishes a causal link, thus demonstrating that political preferences are endogenous and are influenced by individual experiences.

Regarding the second topic, based on a broad international data collection effort we document that individuals in poor countries work on average substantially more hours than individuals in rich countries. This implies that international differences in labor productivity and welfare are larger than previously thought. We also found that taxation plays an important role in driving the labor supply behavior of married women in Europe and the United States.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Alexander Blick: “Quantifying the Disincentive Effects of Joint Taxation on Married Women’s Labor Supply”, in: American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings, forthcoming, May 2017.

Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Tarek Hassan: “Natural Experiments in Macroeconomics”, in: Taylor, John B. and Harald Uhlig (eds.): Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, Vol. 2a, 2016, pp. 923-1012.

Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Paolo Masella: “Long-Lasting Effects of Socialist Education”, in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 98(3), 2016, pp. 428-441.

Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Matthias Schündeln: “On the Endogeneity of Political Preferences: Evidence from Individual Experience with Democracy”, in: Science, 347(6226), 2015, pp. 1145-1148.

Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola & Kevin Bartz: “The Role of Borders, Languages, and Currencies as Obstacles to Labor Market Integration”, in: European Economic Review, 56(6), 2012, pp. 1148-1163.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Practical Philosophy with a concentration on the Philosophy of Law and Political Philosophy (Prof. Dr. Christoph Menke)

The research conducted in the context of this chair, which is directly connected to the research project “Normativity and Subjectivity: First Nature – Second Nature – Mind”, is mainly concerned with clarifying the relation between mind (Geist) and first, inner nature, focusing especially on their relevance in the context of a dialectical concept of form. The underlying premise is that the general dialectic of form and matter can provide substantial insights into how the normative orders of mind are constituted by their pre-mental, natural orders and the play of their forces.

The investigation of the dialectic of form and matter contributes to clarifying the status of normative orders, which are considered in their relation to the non- or pre-normative realm. This research assumes an interdisciplinary form insofar as it develops a concept of modern law (especially of the form of subjective rights) in discussion with legal studies.

Regarding the question of the logic of form or formation, the chair’s research on normativity is connected to questions of aesthetics. For modern art, in particular, is a practice of formation in which the above-mentioned dialectic of form and matter unfolds. From this perspective, analogue processes of formation can be observed in other fields. In this context, research has been devoted in particular to analyzing the form of law, focusing on the self-reflexive form of modern law (the “law of rights”). Moreover, several doctoral and postdoctoral projects conducted in the context of the chair engaged with issues of autonomy, the theory of the subject and legal theory.

Besides the research on an aesthetic conception of form mentioned above, Thomas Khurana’s postdoctoral project entitled “The Life of Freedom: The Form and Reality of Autonomy after Kant and Hegel” developed a deepened comprehension of practical autonomy by reconstructing a philosophical concept of life, which was first suggested by Kant and systematically elaborated by Hegel. Dirk Quadflieg’s postdoctoral project “The Spirit of the Thing: A Critique of Reification” also started from Hegel and, in conversation with ethnological theories, developed the thesis that normative, spiritual orders are defined by a thing-like character of externality. The dissertations by Judith Mohrmann and Felix Trautmann were concerned with showing how the dialectic of norm and nature, mind and life, plays out in the constitution of political orders.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Menke, Christoph: Die Kraft der Kunst, Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2013. (Span. Übers.: Santiago de Chile: Metales Pesados, 2017.)

Khurana, Thomas: Das Leben der Freiheit. Form und Wirklichkeit der Autonomie, Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2017.

Mohrmann, Judith: Affekt und Revolution. Politisches Handeln nach Arendt und Kant, Frankfurt a.M.: Campus Verlag, 2015.

Quadflieg, Dirk: Vom Geist der Sache. Zur Kritik der Verdinglichung, Frankfurt a.M./New York: Campus Verlag, 2017 (i.E.)

Sheplyakova, Tatjana: „Das Recht der Klage aus demokratietheoretischer Perspektive", in: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 64 (2016) 1, pp. 45–67.

Trautmann, Felix: Das Imaginäre der Demokratie. Politische Befreiung und das Rätsel der freiwilligen Knechtschaft, Paderborn: Konstanz University Press, 2017 (i.E.).

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

„The Force of Aesthetics: Power, Imagination, Affects: An International Conference”, New School for Social Research, New York, USA, April 28-29, 2014.

“Other Natures. Norm and Nature II.“, Workshop, Université de Montréal, Département de Philosophie, April 30-May 1, 2014.

„Die Rezeptivität des Urteilens. Norm und Natur III.“ Workshop, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, May 23-25, 2014.

„Prozeduralisierung des Rechts.“ International Workshop, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, organized by Tatjana Sheplyakova in the context of her project funded by the DFG, additionally funded by the Goethe University and in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, May 3, 2015.

„Die Kunst der Zweiten Natur.“ Workshop, Goethe University. July 1-2, 2016.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – International Political Theory (Prof. Dr. Darrel Moellendorf)

The cluster professorship is located at the interface between political science and philosophy, and concerns itself with phenomena that cross national boundaries. Central themes are: The idea and significance of human dignity in political justifications; the moral value and the right goal of sustainable development; the justification and role of socio-economic rights for human development; the identification of appropriate objectives of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda; the requirements for fair international trade and fair financial regimes; the causes of poverty and global inequality; the fair distribution of obligations to mitigate climate change and the burden of climate adaptation; the identification of appropriate international climate protection regimes; the relevance of geoengineering for climate policy; the justification and practical possibilities of sustainable development through an international tax system; and finally the justification of cross-border solidarity.

The work in the area of normative theories of global justice is based in many ways on empirical analyzes in the areas of politics, economics, law and international relations insofar as the empirical work discusses political problems that cross national boundaries. Starting from these studies, the team examines and reflects upon normativity in transnational policies. Many questions relating to the normative orders that regulate environmental crises require a similar mode of reflexivity and bring additional interdisciplinary questions of the normativity of intergenerational orders into perspective.

Our publications and presentations focused on themes in global justice, global bioethics, human rights, just war theory, and environmental racism. The central results were presented in publications and presentations.

Darrel Moellendorf has written about how a war can be brought to a just end, as well as whether a state can limit the emigration of citizens whose medical education it has funded. Daniel Callies also published on the topic of limiting the emigration of citizens whose medical education was financed by the state. Eszter Kolllár has written on Justice, Immigration, and Global Equal Opportunities. And Merten Reglitz published an article on Kant, global poverty and justice. Daniel Hammer has made an international presentation on collective action and self-responsibility. Susanne Börner has made an international presentation on environmental justice. And Brian Milstein gave a lecture on the theory of crisis. All these topics are relevant to the political discussion, and many of the papers published evaluate selected aspects of public policy.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Moellendorf, Darrel: “Just Endings”, in: H. Frowe & S. Lazar (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Ethics of War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Moellendorf, Darrel: “Two Doctrines of Jus ex Bello”, in: Ethics 125:3: 2015, pp. 653-673.

Callies, Daniel: “Brain Drain, Contracts, and Moral Obligation”, in: Moral Philosophy and Politics Vol. 3 No. 1: March 2016, pp. 83–93.

Kollár, Eszter: “Global Equality of Opportunity and Self-determination in the Context of Immigration”, in: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 2016 (published online).

Reglitz, Merten: “A Kantian Argument against World Poverty”, in: European Journal of Political Theory, 2016, (online:

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Workshop on Chris Armstrong’s Manuscript “Justice and Natural Resources”, January 22 2016.

„International Workshop on the Ethics and Economics of Climate Change”, March 3-4 2016.

Frankfurt-Ottawa Workshop “Normative Perspectives on Labour Immigration”, June 6, 2016.

Arguing for Equality - ‘Author meets Critics’ workshop and Political Egalitarianism - Public Lecture by John Baker, December 19-20, 2016.

Lecture Series “Der Wert der Natur” organized in cooperation with ISOE and Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, December 2016-January 2017.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Anthropology of Colonial and Postcolonial Orders (Prof. Dr. Schröter)

The research focus of the Cluster of Excellence’s professorship for the “anthropology of colonial and postcolonial orders” concentrates on the transformation of normative orders in the Islamic world and in countries with significant Muslim minorities. The aim is to study contemporary developments in the religious, cultural and political spheres from both diachronic (colonial) and synchronic (postcolonial) perspectives in a manner that closely integrates theoretical and empirical work.

Methodologically speaking, ethnographic field work, especially participant observation, is of particular importance. The regional foci of research included Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand), China, Central and South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran), the Mediterranean Region (Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco) and Western Europe (Germany, England, France and Belgium).

Research was conducted by the professor, her research associates (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter) and her PhD students, the latter coming mostly from those countries where studies were undertaken. A continuous lecture series and a number of international workshops and conferences provided a framework in which further case studies from Africa and a number of Asian countries could be discussed for which the research group was not in a position to gather its own empirical data.

The breadth of the case studies available, either directly or indirectly, made it possible to examine changes in normative orders on a global scale and to analyze how local, national, regional and transnational aspects helped to shape these changes. In association with Cluster colleagues from other disciplines, we began an interdisciplinary research initiative on post/secularism. The results of our joint efforts point to the increasing importance of religion as a norm justifying force and indicates that the trend toward the return of religion (“Rückkehr der Religionen,” Riesebrodt) tends to promote fundamentalist and even extremist currents.

Research results were presented at national and international conferences organized in cooperation with various Hessian ministries (for Social Affairs and Integration and for Sciences and the Arts), the Hessian State Investigation Bureau, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the French and U.S. Consulates General. These workshops and conferences gave rise to numerous publications, including two edited volumes in the Normative Orders series published by Campus Verlag. In the area of academic internationalization, activities included the supervision of eight dissertations written by international PhD Students.

In 2014 the Frankfurt Research Center on Global Islam (Frankfurter Forschungszentrum Globaler Islam, FFGI) was established under the aegis of the Cluster of Excellence. This greatly increased the visibility of the research focus areas and facilitated the transfer of research results to political and social institutions, thereby contributing to both the Cluster of Excellence‘s and Goethe University’s “Third Mission” objectives. Members of the FFGI at the Cluster of Excellence were invited to give lectures and provide consulting services for schools and local offices of the state children’s and youth services, state judicial institutions, municipal administrations and law enforcement agencies, as well as for political parties. Professor Schröter was entrusted with various positions in influential civil society organizations, including a position on the executive board of the German Orient-Institute (Deutsches Orient-Institut), the Hessian Information and Competence Center against Extremism (Hessische Informations- und Kompetenzzentrum gegen Extremismus, HKE) and the Institute for Democracy and Civil Society (Institut für Demokratie und Zivilgesellschaft, IDZ).

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Schröter, Susanne: „Islamic feminism. National and transnational dimensions”, in: J. Cesari, (ed.), Islam, gender and democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 115-138.

Schröter, Susanne: Gott näher sein als seiner eigenen Halsschlagader. Fromme Muslime in Deutschland, Frankfurt: Campus, 2016.

Schröter, Susanne/Christoph Günther/Mariella Ourghi/Nina Wiedl: „Dschihadistische Rechtfertigungsnarrative und mögliche Gegennarrative“, in: HSFK-Report 4/2016, Frankfurt am Main.

Schröter, Susanne: „Die jungen Wilden der Ummah. Heroische Geschlechterkonstruktionen im Jihadismus“, in: Friedensgutachten 2015, Berlin: Lit, 2015, pp. 175-186.

Schröter, Susanne (ed.): Geschlechtergerechtigkeit durch Demokratisierung? Transformationen und Restaurationen von Genderverhältnissen in der islamischen Welt, Bielefeld: Transcript, 2013.

Schröter, Susanne (ed.): Gender and Islam in Southeast Asia. Women's rights movements, religious resurgence and local traditions, Leiden: Brill, 2013.

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

 „Entstehung von islamistischem Terrorismus: Die Rolle rechtsfreier Räume und Parallelgesellschaften“, February 3, 2017, Berlin.

„Muslimische Jugend – zwischen Integration, Abschottung und neuen Wegen“, October 28, 2016, Frankfurt am Main.

 „Welcher Islam gehört zu Deutschland?”, April 29, Frankfurt am Main.

„Islamischer Extremismus: Prävention und Deradikalisierung zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit“, July 3, 2015, Frankfurt am Main.

„Salafismus und Jihadismus. Der Traum vom Gottesstaat im 21. Jh.”, November 28, 2014, Frankfurt am Main.

“Islamism versus Post-Islamism? Mapping topographies of Islamic political and cultural practices and discourses“, December 13 – 15, 2013, Frankfurt am Main.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – History of Science of the Pre-Modern World (Prof. Dr. Annette Warner-Imhausen)

The professorship has a twofold scholarly focus: 1) research on the history of pre-modern science, especially scholarly practices in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia; 2) historiography of early ancient scientific sources.

Normative Orders (and their changes) can be examined in the field of premodern science by analyzing written sources that display formally structured systems of norms. The importance of casuistic procedures, regional and chronological changes and the need for consistency and coherence in their logical structure enable us to describe normative systems in ways that may also be relevant for the study of more recent developments.

The research can be structured into three areas:

1.) The development of Egyptian mathematics from the invention of the number system until the Greco-Roman period.
The development of ancient Egyptian mathematics can be traced over a period of 3000 years against the background of different social and cultural structures. (Monograph: Ancient Egyptian Mathematics: A Contextual History). It can be studied in greatest detail in those periods for which there are extant mathematical texts (Middle Kingdom and Greco-Roman periods). In virtue of their procedural character, mathematical texts can be analyzed as algorithms (ongoing project).

2.) The Normativity of Formal Structures and Procedures in the Ancient World: A Comparison between Mathematical and Judicial Rule Systems.  
Cluster project. See report:

3.) (Book project Daliah Bawanypeck) “Mesopotamian Scholars and their Writings – Normative Orders and Cuneiform Concepts of Knowledge” (former working title: The Role of Normative Structures in the Transmission of Knowledge in Mesopotamia)
Daliah Bawanypeck’s book project “Mesopotamian Scholars and their Writings” was developed further. The study, which analyses cuneiform scholarly texts, literate experts and the places where knowledge was accumulated, aims to shed light on the conditions under which knowledge was created in Mesopotamia, the actors involved and the epistemic procedures and instruments that were influential in the emergence, establishment, transmission and development of written knowledge.

The results can be sketched as follows: In a publication that grew out of two workshops from the first term of the Cluster, eight case studies from the areas of Egyptian and Mesopotamian medicine, magic and ritual, astronomy, mathematics and law were undertaken in order to analyze early ancient scientific sources. Since written knowledge was intentionally stored and passed on in both cultures, the paradigms of institutional normative structures can be found by examining those texts. The individual case studies provide overviews of traditions of texts on some subjects as well as analyses of specific aspects of the sources. The contributions furthermore provide subject-specific advise on ways of translating and commenting as well as a subject-specific overview of auxiliary tools, that are meant to assist with translating, understanding and evaluating already existing translations of ancient scientific texts.

The monograph on ancient Egyptian mathematics is the first history of Egyptian mathematics that covers the time from the invention of numbers until the last indigenous texts. In the description of the individual periods, information about Egyptian mathematics is analyzed against the background of its social and cultural setting to facilitate a better understanding of the respective developments.

After the conference on “Writing of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Rome and Greece” and the associated publication, which focused on translations of ancient scientific texts, a follow-up project produced a handbook as an aid to the translation of ancient scientific texts. Experts for the respective cultures presented case studies from the areas of medicine, astronomy, astrology and mathematics, offering proposals for how to overcome certain difficulties in translating premodern scientific texts.

The research for the monograph by Daliah Bawanypeck “Mesopotamian Scholars and their Writings – Normative Orders and Cuneiform Concepts of Knowledge” yielded the insight that Mesopotamian scholarship was based on procedures or conditions (e.g. systematizing knowledge in the form of lists, hermeneutics based on how cuneiform script functions, and bilingual education of scribes) that were prefigured with the invention of writing and took shape during the following three millennia.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Imhausen, Annette:  Ancient Egyptian Mathematics. A Contextual History, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Imhausen, Annette & Tanja Pommerening (eds.): Translating Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Methodological Aspects with Examples (Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 344), Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016.

Bawanypeck, Daliah & Annette Imhausen (eds.): Traditions of Written Knowledge in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 403), Münster: Ugarit, 2014.

Imhausen, Annette & Tanja Pommerening (eds.): Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Rome and Greece (Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 286), Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010.

Bawanypeck, Daliah & Annette Imhausen: "Mesopotamien und Ägypten", in: M. Sommer/ S. Müller-Wille/C. Reinhardt (eds.), Handbuch Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler, 2017, pp. 108-117.

The most important events and presentations of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

International Conference: Joint Maths Meeting in San Antonio, USA, January 2015.

International Conference: “History of ancient Astronomy and Mathematics”  in Xi’an, China, August 23-29, 2015.

Public Lecture: “Schriftentstehung in Ägypten und Mesopotamien”, Goethe Lectures, Offenbach, Germany, October 12, 2015.

2nd annual Huxley Lecture on the History of Mathematics, Maynooth University, Irland, April 24, 2017.

Professorship of the Cluster of the Excellence – Criminal and Criminal Procedure Law, International and European Criminal Law, Comparative Law and Legal Theory (Prof. Dr. Christoph Burchard)

The inclusive title of the professorship, which was established in mid-2015, reflects its broad orientation in research and teaching alike. The professorship covers German criminal and criminal procedure law, including white collar crime and the constitutionalization of criminal justice, as well as the internationalization and Europeanization of criminal justice. Comparative criminal justice and legal theory provide the specific background for reflection in all of these areas.

The interdisciplinarity of the research and teaching conducted by the professorship in accordance with the program of the Cluster is exhibited by the bridges to other legal disciplines (as reflected in the generic concept of “constitutional criminal law” coined by the holder of the chair), to political science and to political philosophy (take, for example, the Cluster research project on the normative openness of international criminal justice). The internationalization and Europeanization of criminal justice provides a wealth of evidence for the emergence of new normative orders (if one thinks of international criminal law proper) as well as for the transformation of existing normative orders (for example, judicial cooperation in criminal cases, which in Europe is currently developing into a network administration of criminal justice). These processes are studied in the light of the underlying research program of the Cluster, with particular attention being paid, in connection with Research Area 3, to the inter- and intra-jurisdictional competition between different normative conceptions of order.

The focus with regard to German national criminal law is on the profound changes which the criminal justice system is undergoing – often under the influence of international or European developments. For example, commercial and corporate criminal law is being transformed into a “normal” regulatory instrument of social control and the rationalities governing its constitutionalization are preparing the ground for the (democratic) politicization of criminal justice. Another major focus is on judicial cooperation in criminal matters, in particular the attendant processes of supranationalization (such as the forthcoming establishment of a European public prosecutor’s office) and privatization (such as the dependence of national investigators and prosecutors on cooperation with private Internet service providers). To this must be added, when it comes to theoretical foundations, the focus of the chair on comparative law and legal theory, informed at the level of scientific methodology by epistemological and theoretical pluralism.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Burchard, Christoph: „Strafverfassungsrecht: Vorüberlegungen zu einem Schlüsselbegriff“, in: Tiedemann/Sieber/Satzger/Burchard/Brodowski (eds.), Die Verfassung moderner Strafrechtspflege – Erinnerung an Joachim Vogel, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2016, pp. 27-61.

Burchard, Christoph: „Commentary on Art. 27 Rome Statute (Irrelevance of official capacity)”; “on Art. 71 Rome Statute (Sanctions for misconduct before the Court)”, in: Triffterer & Ambos (eds.), The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court - A Commentary, München/Oxford: Beck/Hart, 2016, pp. 1037-1055, pp. 1760-1774.

Burchard, Christoph: „Kommentierung von § 13 StGB (Unterlassen)“, in: Leitner & Rosenau (eds.): Wirtschafts- und Steuerstrafrecht, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2017, S. 1047-1066.

Burchard, Christoph: „Kommentierung von Vor § 1 IRG (Gesetz über Internationale Rechtshilfe in Strafsachen)“, in: Grützner/Pötz/Kreß (ed.), C.F. Müller, forthcoming 2017, ca. 300 pp.

Burchard, Christoph: “Judicial Dialogue in Light of Comparative Criminal Law and Justice”, in: P. Lobba & T. Mariniello (eds.), Judicial Dialogue on Human Rights: The Practice of International Criminal Tribunals, Brill|Nijhoff, 2017, forthcoming 2017.

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

AK Europäisches Strafrecht, Co-Initiator and organizer of the first workshop, June 23-24 2016, Frankfurt a.M.; Co-Initiator and organizer of the second workshop, April 27-28 2017, Zurich.

International Lecture Series „Strafrechtspflege zwischen Purismus und Pluralität“, Cluster of Excellence „The Formation of Normative Orders“, Summer Term 2017, Frankfurt a.M., Organizer.

Workshop „Normative Orders of the Digital“, Co-Organizer, first workshop of the research group „Internet und Gesellschaft”, Cluster of Excellence „The Formation of Normative Orders“, July 6-7 2017, Frankfurt a.M.

Workshop on Comparative Constitutional Criminal Justice, Organizer, scheduled for July 10 2017, Frankfurt a.M.

Interdisciplinary Seminar „Nationale Widerstände gegen die Internationalisierung des Strafrechts“, in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek (TU Darmstadt; Principal Investigator of the Cluster of Excellence „The Formation of Normative Orders“), scheduled for winter term 2017/

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – International Organizations (Prof. Dr. Christopher Daase)

The Chair and the members of the unit “International Organizations” analyze the emergence, the transformation and the effects of international norms and institutions. In doing so, they focus on issues of peace and international security. Norms (e.g., the norm to apologize for past injustice or the norm to intervene in case of massive human rights violations) have been analyzed in terms of their emergence, how they change under conflict, how they are institutionalized and what effects they generate. Specific projects deal with (1) humanitarian intervention and responsibility, (2) norms of international recognition, and (3) the ways in which international institutions and organizations have come under attack by state and non-state actors in recent years.

(1)    Humanitarian Interventions and Responsibility  
 A central question of current international security policy is the following: under what circumstances may the sovereignty of a state be compromised in order to save human beings under severe risk of becoming victims of human rights violations. The debate about “humanitarian intervention” has changed in recent years by reinterpreting sovereignty not (exclusively) in terms of the right to avert external interference, but also in terms of responsibility vis-à-vis one’s own population. To what extent has this shift lowered the threshold for military intervention? Is the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) a legal or a moral norm and how has it changed the normative order of the international system? These questions were addressed at international workshops and conferences as well as in a number of publications produced by the professorship. Central to these discussions was the tension between legal and moral normativity entailed by the responsibility for international human rights.

(2)    International Recognition
Many international conflicts are as much about grievance as they are about greed. Their common denominator are conflicting claims for recognition: recognition of entitlement to land or resources, rule or political participation, status and identity. The struggle for recognition can have paradoxical effects. On the one hand, recognition provides the basis for mutual acceptance, accommodation, and cooperation. On the other hand, recognition raises the stakes in a conflict, thus accentuating differences and escalating the violence. When do struggles over recognition turn violent and destroy social bonds? Under what conditions do they lead to integrative normative orders and what inherent dynamics are at play? Conflicts of recognition were the focus of an international conference and an edited volume that came out of it. Especially important are the ideas of “gradual recognition” through which civil war parties may be convinced to renounce violence step by step and reembrace the political process.

(3)    International Dissidence
In recent years, International institutions and organizations have increasingly become targets of critique and resistance. Not only civil society groups but also states are distancing themselves more or less vehemently from the norms and institutions of the liberal world order. This is why we have turned our focus to international dissidence and how resistance in general interacts with systems of rule and authority. In collaboration with the Chair on “International Relations and Theories of International Order” of the Cluster, a research group on “International Dissidence” has been established which brings together five distinct research projects on forms of resistance and a number of PhDs and Postdocs whose research focuses on rule and/or resistance. The research group has organized an ongoing lecture series (Protest – Resistance – Insurgence: Struggles over Normative Orders), several national and international conferences and workshops (most recently an authors’ workshop to finalize papers from the Cluster’s lecture series “Beyond Anarchy: Rule and Resistance in the International System” for publication). From this focus, several publications have already emerged, more are in preparation, and new grant proposals have been developed.

Beyond these projects, other externally funded projects have been carried out in recent years: “Security Culture in Transformation” (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science), “Guilt and Reconciliation in International Relations” (funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research), and “Transnational Cooperation among Terrorist Groups” (funded by the German Research Foundation - DFG).

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Daase, Christopher/Nicole Deitelhoff/Ben Kamis/Jannik Pfister/Philip Wallmeier(eds.): Herrschaft in den Internationalen Beziehungen, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2017. (Therein: „Einleitung“ and papers of the PI and project collaborators).

*Daase, Christopher/Julian Junk/Gabi Schlag (eds.): Transformations of Security Studies - Dialogues, Discipline and Diversity, London: Routledge (PRIO New Security Studies Series). (Therein: Christopher Daase, „On Paradox and Pathologies: A Cultural Approach to Security“ and „Introduction to the Volume“)

Daase, Christopher & James Davis: Clausewitz On Small War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Daase, Christopher/Caroline Fehl/Anna Geis/Georgios Kolliarakis (eds.): Recognition in International Relations. Rethinking a Political Concept in a Global Context, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

*Daase, Christopher & Nicole Deitelhoff: „Jenseits der Anarchie: Widerstand und Herrschaft im internationalen System“, in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift 56: 2, pp. 299-318.

*Deitelhoff, Nicole & Christopher Daase: „Herrschaftszeiten. Internationale Politische Theorie als Gesellschaftstheorie der internationalen Beziehungen“, in: Zeitschrift für Politische Theorie, Jg. 6, Heft 2/2015, pp. 141–158.

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Lecture Series "Angriff auf die liberale Weltordnung – U.S. Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik unter Trump", April 20-July 20, 2017, Goethe-University Frankfurt.

International Conference „International Dissidence. Rule and Resistance in a globalized world“,March 2-4, 2017, Goethe-University Frankfurt.

Lecture Series „Protest - Widerstand - Aufstand. Streit um politische Ordnungen", November 09-July 11, 2017 (organized in cooperation with Nicole Deitelhoff).

Workshop „Protest und Widerstand im Zeitalter digitaler Medienkonstellationen“ May 6+27, 2016, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main.  

International Expert Workshop „The Problem of Recognition in Global Politics“ (Chairs: Georgios Kolliarakis, Anna Geis, Christopher Daase, Caroline Fehl) University of Frankfurt, Cluster of Excellence “The Formation of Normative Orders”, June 21-22, 2012, Frankfurt am Main.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – International Relations and Theories of Global Order (Prof. Dr. Nicole Deitelhoff)

The professorship “International Relations and Theories of Global Order” addresses forms and practices of resistance emerging within normative orders, with a particular concentration on those orders that transcend national borders. Its research focuses on how rule is constituted in normative orders, how it is challenged and how resistance and rule fit together. Specific projects deal with: (1) the privatization of security as a particular strategy and challenge to national systems of rule, (2) conflicts arising around international norms and institutions, and (3) forms and practices of resistance and how they are connected with rule.

(1) Security privatization has grown extensively during the last decades, giving rise to new forms of governance in the production and provision of security and to concerns regarding the democratic legitimacy of such new forms of governance. The professorship has conducted case studies on security privatization in Germany and the United States and has compared the extent and consequences of security provision in weak and strong states. In particular, the projects have critically assessed the legitimacy problems entailed by specific forms of security privatization or the governance thereof and have outlined the available options for avoiding such problems. This research has led to a number of publications in journals and edited volumes and has resulted in an expert report for the research forum of the German Ministry of Education and Research on public security (Forschungsforum Öffentliche Sicherheit).

(2) With regard to conflicts surrounding international norms and institutions, research has focused on the major question of when contestation of international norms weakens their robustness. This question has been the focus of a lively debate in International Relations during the last years. Case studies on the contestation of various prominent international norms (the ban on torture, the responsibility to protect, the commercial whaling ban, international individual criminal accountability, and the prohibitions of slavery and privateering) have substantially confirmed the hypothesis that the effects of contestation on the robustness of norms depend heavily on the type of contestation. While contestation concerning the application of norms usually has no negative effects on the norm in question, contestation which focuses on the justificatory core of a norm is most likely to weaken a norm’s robustness. Meanwhile this research has resulted in the establishment of a working group at the German Association for Political Science, several publications, and a special issue on the topic is under review at a leading journal in IR. The final results of the project will be published in a book and in journal articles in 2018.

(3) Finally, the chair has increasingly turned its attention to forms and practices of resistance in world politics and how these interact with systems of rule and authority. In collaboration with the Cluster professorship “International Organization,” a research group on “International Dissidence” has been established which assembles five distinct research projects on forms of resistance and a number of doctoral students and postdocs whose research focuses on rule and/or resistance. The research group has organized an ongoing lecture series (Protest – Resistance – Insurgence. Normative Orders as the Focus of Struggles), several national and international conferences and workshops (the latest, an authors’ workshop, is scheduled for the end of May and will finalize the papers emerging from the international Cluster Lecture series “Beyond Anarchy: Rule and Resistance in the International System” for publication). Several publications have already emerged from this focus and new grant proposals have been developed.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

*Deitelhoff, Nicole: „Billiges Gerede und leeres Geschwätz? Was ist eigentlich geblieben von der ZIB-Debatte?“ in: Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen 24: 1, 2017, forthcoming

Deitelhoff, Nicole/ Priska Daphi/Dieter Rucht/ Simon Teune (eds.): „Protest und Bewegungen im Wandel?“, Sonderheft: Leviathan, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2017, forthcoming.

*Deitelhoff, Nicole/Christopher Daase/Ben Kamis/ Jannik Pfister/Philip Wallmeier (eds.): Herrschaft in den Internationalen Beziehungen, Wiesbaden: Springer, 2017.

*Deitelhoff, Nicole & Christopher Daase: “Jenseits der Anarchie: Widerstand und Herrschaft im internationalen System“, in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift 56: 2, 2015, 299-318.

*Deitelhoff, Nicole & Michael Zürn, “Internationalization and the State. Sovereignty as the External Side of Modern Statehood”, in: S. Leibfried/E. Huber/M. Lange/ J.D. Levy/J.D. Stephens (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Transformations of the State, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Deitelhoff, Nicole & Christopher Daase: Privatisierung der Sicherheit. Eine sozialwissenschaftliche Studie, Schriftenreihe Sicherheit Nr. 11, Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, 2013-09.

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

„Begriff und Phänomen der Norm“: Workshop of the newly founded working group (Themengruppe) „IB-Normenforschung“  of the German Political Science Association (GPSA) at the Cluster of Excellence, „The Formation of Normative Orders“, March 29-30, 2017.

International Conference: „International Dissidence. Rule and Resistance in a globalized world“, Goethe-University Frankfurt, March  2-4, 2017.

Lecture Series: „Protest - Widerstand - Aufstand. Streit um politische Ordnungen", November 2015 – July 2017, (co-organized with Christopher Daase)

Three panels organized by the Research Group “Internationale Dissidenz” at the  4th Global International Studies Conference of the World International Studies Committee (WISC),  August 6– 9, 2014, Frankfurt/M.

“IPA (International Public Authority) Meets Dissidenz“, interdisciplinary workshop with Armin von Bogdandy, Goethe University, Building „Normative Orders, April 4, 2014.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Chair in Civil Law and Commercial Law with a special emphasis on International Intellectual Property Law (Prof. Dr. Alexander Peukert)

Since November 2008, Professor Alexander Peukert has been professor of law at the law faculty of Goethe University and Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence. In his research, Peukert combines theoretical and doctrinal approaches to the study of intellectual property (IP) and unfair competition law, with a specific emphasis on international aspects of these legal areas. His research is connected above all in two ways with the interdisciplinary approach of the Cluster. First, Peukert and researchers at his chair study legal concepts and narratives on which the international IP system is based and which contributed to the formation and dramatic growth of this normative order. A second strand of research examines examples of transnational law “beyond” or “in the shadow of” the state. This has been a central theme of the research on legal theory performed at the Cluster, and Peukert’s chair has studied it with particular regard to different forms of cooperation between private and public actors who are confronted with a highly fragmented, largely nation state-based IP law in a transnational economy (see project “Transnational Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights through Cooperation”).
As regards the theory and formation of IP law, research at the chair produced the following results: The monograph on the public domain in IP law published by Peukert in 2012 is the first in-depth study in the German language devoted to this legal concept. It contributes a novel, comprehensive legal doctrine of the public domain to the international debate whose central arguments have been summarized in an English article published in 2015. In another article on the future of digital copyright, Peukert develops a theory of two communication cultures on the Internet whose coexistence is regulated among other things by copyright. A dissertation supervised by Peukert and further articles authored by him analyze the core legal concepts and narratives underlying copyright and other IP rights that contributed to the formation and expansion of IP law.
Peukert has also drawn on social theories, in particular Karl Polanyi‘s “Great Transformation,” to explain the enormous growth and universal acceptance of this body of law. In addition, he has drawn on this theoretical perspective to shed light on the problematic interface of academic research and copyright (Open Access) and to analyze economization tendencies that come to light in unfair competition law. The fruitfulness of a combination of legal theory and legal doctrine was also demonstrated by the findings of the research project “Transnational Regulation of Intellectual Property Rights through Cooperation.”
Finally, legal-doctrinal work conducted at Peukert’s chair resulted in extensive commentaries to provisions of the German Copyright and Unfair Competition acts, and in a revised, 17th edition of a standard textbook on copyright law.

The most important publications of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

Peukert, Alexander: Die Gemeinfreiheit. Begriff, Funktion, Dogmatik (Geistiges Eigentum und Wettbewerbsrecht, Band 63), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012, VIII, 321 pages.

Peukert, Alexander: Das Urheberrecht und die zwei Kulturen der Online-Kommunikation, GRUR-Beilage 2014, pp. 77-93; english version: “Copyright and the Two Cultures of Online Communication”, in: Paul L.C. Torremans (ed), Intellectual Property Law and Human Rights, 3rd ed. 2015, pp. 367-395.

Peukert, Alexander: “Intellectual property: the global spread of a legal concept”, in: P. Drahos/G. Ghidini/H. Ullrich (eds.): Kritika - Essays on Intellectual Property, Vol. 1, 2015, pp.114-133.

Peukert, Alexander: „Vom Warenzeichen zum Markeneigentum. Ein polanyischer Erklärungsversuch“, in: W. Büscher, et al. (ed.): Marktkommunikation zwischen Geistigem Eigentum und Verbraucherschutz. Festschrift für Karl-Heinz Fezer zum 70. Geburtstag, 2016, pp.405-426.

Nazari-Khanachayi, Arian: Rechtfertigungsnarrative des Urheberrechts im Praxistest: Empirie zur Rolle des Urheberrechts, Diss. Frankfurt am Main, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016, 272 pages.

The most important events of this professorship of the Cluster of Excellence:

International Conference: Normative Orders of the Digital, July  6-7, 2017 (co-organized with C. Burchard und C. Daase).

Workshop Series: „International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intellectual Property“, 2011-2017; with (among others): Susan Sell (George Washington U), Dan Burk (UC Irvine), Graeme Dinwoodie (Oxford), Jayashree Watal (WTO), Barton Beebe (NYU).

Lecture Series: „Frankfurter Abendkolloquium zum Immaterialgüterrecht“, with (among others): Karl-Nikolaus Peifer (Köln), Annette Kur (München), co-organized with Louis Pahlow.

Professorship of the Cluster of Excellence – Transnational Governance (Prof. Dr. Jens Steffek)

The research of the professorship for transnational governance is situated at the intersection of the traditional analysis of international relations, research on transnational civil society and normative questions of political theory, in particular democratic theory. These different strands of research are connected in a focus on the legitimation of governance beyond the state.
Legitimation as a social process and legitimacy as its result are marked by the interpenetration of an empirical and a normative dimension. In the concept of legitimacy the empirical validation of a political order becomes dependent on normative assessments of correctness and appropriateness. Emanating from this core concept and a research interest informed both by empirical analysis and normative theory we seek to develop a new critical perspective on the governance of transnational political problems and conflicts.
Our activities fall into three areas of research:
(1) In the first area we study legitimation narratives in transnational governance, with a focus on justifications of international organizations as functional agencies. The central thesis is that the advance of formal international (governmental and non-governmental) organizations since the 19th century is part of the bureaucratization of political rule outlined by Max Weber. Therefore, it can be legitimated only in a rational-legal fashion.
(2) The second area targets the legitimation potentials of institutionalized civil society participation in international organizations. The key finding is that the participation of non-state actors in governance can give rise to a political public sphere (within certain limits) but is scarcely able to counteract the underlying trend toward technocratic governance.
(3) In the third area we were interested in the nexus between global order and the social question – from a historical perspective but also with a view to recent developments such as the climate change treaties negotiated over the last decades. Regarding the possible end of redistributive multilateralism, it seems that the shift from legally codified to voluntary emission reduction goals, which began in Copenhagen and was reaffirmed in Paris in 2015, is changing the dominant conceptions of justice in climate policy. The notion of rectifying historical injustice through international political measures is losing ground.

The most important publications of this rofessorships of the Cluster of Excellence:

Holthaus, Leonie & Jens Steffek: “Experiments in International Administration. The Forgotten Functionalism of James Arthur Salter”, in: Review of International Studies 42(1), 2016, pp. 114-135.

McGee, Jeffrey & Jens Steffek: “The Copenhagen Turn in Global Climate Governance and the Contentious History of Differentiation in International Law”, in: Journal of Environmental Law Vol. 28(1), 2016, pp. 37-63.

Steffek, Jens: “Max Weber, Modernity and the Project of International Organization”, in: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, FirstView, DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2015.1020481, 2015.

Steffek, Jens. “The Cosmopolitanism of David Mitrany: Equality, Devolution, and Functional Democracy beyond the State”, International Relations 29(1), 2015,  pp. 23-44.

Steffek, Jens: „Fascist Internationalism“, in: Millennium: Journal of International Studies 44(1), 2015, pp. 3-22.


„Normative Ordnungen“, herausgegeben von Rainer Forst und Klaus Günther, ist im Suhrkamp Verlag erschienen

Am 17. April 2021 ist der Sammelband „Normative Ordnungen“ im Suhrkamp Verlag erschienen. Herausgegeben von den Clustersprechern Prof. Rainer Forst und Prof. Klaus Günther, bietet das Werk einen weit gefassten interdispziplinären Überblick über die Ergebnisse eines erfolgreichen wissenschaftlichen Projekts. Mehr...

Das Postdoc-Programm des Forschungsverbunds „Normative Ordnungen“: Nachwuchsförderung zwischen 2017 und 2020

Die Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses ist seit je her ein integraler Bestandteil des Forschungsverbunds „Normative Ordnungen“. Das 2017 neu strukturierte, verbundseigene Postdoc-Programm bietet die besten Bedingungen zu forschen und hochqualifizierte junge Wissenschaftler*innen zu fördern. Zum Erfahrungsbericht: Hier...

Upcoming Events

18. Mai 2022, 18.00 Uhr

Virtuelle Ringvorlesung "Algorithms, Uncertainty and Risk": Prof. Dr. Tobias Singelnstein (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Professor für Kriminologie): Die Sicherheit der Zukunft – Künstliche Intelligenz und soziale Kontrolle. Mehr...

26. Mai 2022 bis 29. Mai 2022

32nd Annual Conference of the Association for Anglophone Postcolonial Studies: Contested Solidarities: Agency and Victimhood in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures. Mehr...


Latest Media


Weitere Videoaufzeichnungen finden Sie hier...

Zurück auf Null? Der Ukrainekrieg und seine Folgen

Prof Nicole Deitelhoff (Politikwissenschaftlerin, HSFK, Normative Orders, Goethe-Universität)
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Ein Verbrechen ohne Namen. Anmerkungen zum neuen Streit über den Holocaust

Mit Prof. Dr. Dan Diner (Universitäten Jerusalem und Leipzig), Prof. Dr. Norbert Frei (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena) und Prof. Dr. Sybille Steinbacher (Fritz Bauer Institut, Normative Orders, Goethe-Universität)
Moderation: Rebecca Caroline Schmidt "Normative Ordnungen")

New full-text Publications

Rainer Forst (2021):

Solidarity: concept, conceptions, and contexts. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2021. More...

Annette Imhausen (2021):

Sciences and normative orders: perspectives from the earliest sciences. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2021. More...