Research Programme

With a thematic focus on the formation of normative orders, the programme explores current conflicts over a just world order and their historical genesis from the perspective of different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences (philosophy, history, political science, legal studies, ethnology, economics, religious studies and sociology). In contrast to functionalist explanatory approaches which always appeal to factors external to norms and have their own scientific justification, the Cluster is concerned with the internal conflicts, processes and procedures involved in the formation of normative orders. Normative orders serve to justify claims to validity and the claims to political authority, and to a particular distribution of goods and life chances, based upon them. They are embedded in justification narratives which emerge within unique historical constellations in response to a specific pressure of problems. For the most part they are handed down, modified, institutionalized and put into practice over long periods of time. At the same time, however, every traditional justification narrative points beyond the facticity of an extant order and thus presents opportunities for criticism, rejection or resistance. It is this performative tension between narratives and claims to justification which renders the conflictual dynamic of the formation and transformation of normative orders intelligible.

The researchers participating in the Cluster of Excellence find their common ground in this internal standpoint. They use it to investigate the formation of normative orders, employing the resources of their own disciplines, while engaging in reflexive communication concerning this shared foundation. Without absolutizing the distinction between internal and external perspectives on the formation of normative orders, one can nevertheless observe in current conflicts how people give immediate expression to their experiences of injustice – with all of the attendant ambivalences, especially when these expressions are quickly broadcast across the globe by the mass media in a way that was previously unknown. Individual and collective experiences of injustice, of contempt, humiliation and lack of respect for one’s dignity, are heightened into normative claims aimed at different audiences with different reasons, if necessary also with violence. Thus we can at present only conjecture what conflicts over just normative orders will be triggered by the predicted change in the global climate, what distribution conflicts over increasingly scarce essential resources in the more seriously affected regions and what social and cultural struggles will be triggered once the predicted mass migrations to the more favourable climatic zones begin.

Those affected pay no attention to functional differentiations within global social systems or to semantic and institutional differences between law, morality and religion. While people are acting and speaking, they are certainly also anonymous points of intersection of systems of social communication and of unconscious symbolic systems – mere tokens in a strategic game over markets for raw materials and consumer goods or the mouthpieces of particular group interests who are instrumentalized by the mass media. Our aim is not to lull the humanities and the social sciences back into an anthropological slumber and to orient them to an image of human beings that denies their contextual character and tries to pass itself off as a transcendental a priori. However, we regard factual expressions of outrage over injustices – regardless of how justified, one-sided, selective or distorted they may be in particular cases – as sufficient to raise the question of how a theory of the formation of normative orders that goes beyond the dichotomy between action theory and structural or systems theory is possible today, a theory which, given the global challenges, avoids the quietism of structural theory as much as the alarmism of a theory of action.


Headlines

„Noch einmal: Zum Verhältnis von Moralität und Sittlichkeit" - Vortrag von Jürgen Habermas. Skript und Video zum Abruf verfügbar

Die Meldung zum Vortrag finden Sie hier...

Weitere Informationen (Vortragsskript und Video) zum Vortrag „Noch einmal: Zum Verhältnis von Moralität und Sittlichkeit" von Jürgen Habermas am 19. Juni 2019 an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main finden Sie hier...

"The History of Postmetaphysical Philosophy and the Future of Democracy" - Konferenz zu Ehren von Jürgen Habermas

Am 20. und 21. Juni fand am Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen" die Konferenz "The History of Postmetaphysical Philosophy and the Future of Democracy" statt.
Die Meldung zur Konferenz finden Sie hier...
Das Programm und weitere Informationen finden Sie hier...

Upcoming Events

22. bis 24. Juli 2019

Masterclass: Predicament of Economics: on the Intersection of Ethics, Political Philosophy and Economics. With Prof. Sanjay G. Reddy. Mehr...

23. Juli 2019, 14 Uhr

Fellow-Lecture: Prof. Sanjay G. Reddy: The Predicament of Economics (and the social sciences more generally). Mehr...

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Latest Media

Noch einmal: Moralität und Sittlichkeit

Jürgen Habermas
Öffentlicher Vortrag an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Die andere Seite des Kinos: Chantal Akermans De l’autre côté

Martin Seel
Lecture and Film "Die Erfinderin der Formen. Das Kino von Chantal Akerman"

New full-text Publications

Kettemann, Matthias; Kleinwächter, Wolfgang; Senges, Max (2018):

The Time is Right for Europe to Take the Lead in Global Internet Governance. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2018. More...

Kettemann, Matthias (2019):

Die normative Ordnung der Cyber-Sicherheit: zum Potenzial von Cyber-Sicherheitsnormen. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2019. More...