Kopfgrafik Nano

Change of Contemporary Societies

Managing Director: Frederik Brandenstein
Managing Director: Frederik Brandenstein

In one core area, future research will be carried out by the members of the "Risk and East Asia" Research Training Group, which has been approved by the DFG up to 2014. It investigates the consequences of institutional change with a focus on Japan, South Korea and China. In their comparison of the regions, the researchers hope to find out more about the risks produced by the change in political leadership in this region and how they differ from the European situation.
The researchers from the "Governance in China" competence network were also able to produce a convincing concept. This BMBF-sponsored project researches how, using the example of the People's Republic of China, an authoritarian regime manages the adjustment to enormous economic dynamism. The project also links the six German universities central to the network with the global scientific community through their contacts and the organisation of conferences.
China is an important component of the Main Research Area. The international conference on "Implementation of Environmental Policies in Urban and Rural China - Successes, Problems and Deficits" in 2010, which will be attended by many participants from the People's Republic, will conclude a long-standing project funded by the Haniel Foundation on environmental management in China.
Participation in high-profile international conferences is another important activity supported by the Main Research Area. On the basis of their research results, and sponsored with resources from the Main Research Area, researchers thus had the opportunity to take part in a yearly conference held by the American Political Science Association in Toronto, where they were able to present their work on the determinants of the stability of authoritarian regimes.
A further conference provided one of the other highlights of 2009: a panel proposal submitted jointly by IfP, INEF and IN-EAST was accepted and held within the framework of the annual conference of the European Consortium for Political Research. The panel discussed issues relating to the (dys)functionality of corruption in changing societies with international participants.
The resolution of international conflicts and the intervention behaviour of states and international organisations are also subject to change. Members of the INEF and the IfP are preparing a DFG Research Unit to analyse how discourse on intervention in crisis regions and states brings about changes in actual intervention behaviour. In this context, academics working in this field are researching the influence of the membership of states in various international organisations on civil and military crisis management. Using the example of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), they investigate the cooperation of NATO states in the context of their membership of the European Union. What influence, for instance, do conflicts between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey have on operations within the framework of the ESDP?
At national level, the project entitled "Informelle Regierungsorganisation und informelle Steuerung durch Regierungszentralen in Deutschland" [Informal government organisation and informal governing by government headquarters in Germany] reflects on the origins and changing nature of informality in politics. The researchers are investigating how, in the context of change, the state chancelleries and the federal chancellery use rules which are not legally fixed. They are also preparing a DFG application for research funding.