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

„Institut für gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt“ untersucht in Zukunft die Bedingungen produktiver Konflikte

Die Arbeit in dem Frankfurter Teil des neuen Instituts baut auf der elfjährigen Zusammenarbeit der WissenschaftlerInnen im Rahmen des Exzellenzclusters „Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen“ mit der Hessischen Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung und dem Frankfurter Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften auf. Projektleiterin in Frankfurt ist Prof. Nicole Deitelhoff. Stellvertretende Sprecher sind Prof. Daniela Grunow und Prof. Rainer Forst. More...

Leibniz-Preis 2019 für Ayelet Shachar

Prof. Dr. Ayelet Shachar, Direktorin am Max-Planck-Institut zur Erforschung multireligiöser und multiethnischer Gesellschaften in Göttingen und Principal Investigator des Exzellenzclusters "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen", ist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Preisträgerin 2019. Mehr...

Upcoming Events

19 March 2019, 8pm

Denkraum: Gemeinwohl und Gemeinschaft in Deutschland. Prof. em. Dr. Tilman Allert. More...

20 March 2019, 7pm

Goethe Lectures Offenbach: Dr. Peer Illner: Krise und Gesellschaft: Eine Katastrophengeschichte. More...

Latest Media

Zur rechten Zeit: Wider die Rückkehr des Nationalismus

Prof. Dr. Norbert Frei, Dr. Franka Maubach, PD Dr. Christina Morina und Dr. Maik Tändler
Moderation:
Rebecca Caroline Schmidt
Podiumsdiskussion

Gleichberechtigung_Was kann das Recht zur Geschlechtergerechtigkeit beitragen?

Prof. Dr. Ute Sacksofsky
Denkraum "Verfassung_Aber wie?"

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...