During the reporting period 2018–2019, members of our main research area undertook multiple research activities, including the following larger cooperative projects:

“The Perception and Management of Neuralgic Societal Risk in the 21st Century” was a project funded until September 2019 by the Funk Foundation and led by Professors Achim Goerres, Rüdiger Kiesel and Andreas Niederberger. Political scientists, mathematicians and philosophers explored how the public and decision-makers were dealing with “big risks” like climate change and government debt.

The doctoral research group “Work and its subjects. Media representations since 1960”, funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation, explored how knowledge about “work” in var­ious media discourses such as film, TV, litera­ture or digital media is processed and used to create new and complex “work products”. It concluded with a conference on “(Dis)Orders of work. Fictions and De/Constructions” at the Essen Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities, in November 2018. 

In cooperation with the University of Cologne, Prof. Achim Goerres conducted the DFG-funded project “The Electoral Behaviour of Immigrant-Origin Voters in Germany: The first Immigrant German Election Study of the Bundestag Election 2017“. The project was the first complete study of voting behaviour among the mentioned group and its results were widely discussed in media and among experts.

Since 2018, the research unit “Ambiguity and Distinction” has been funded by the DFG. Led by Prof. Benjamin Scheller, histor­ians as cultural and social scientists explore ambiguous phenomena and processes from the Medieval Period up to present times, in Central and Mediterranean Europe as well as in North America.

The EU Horizon 2020-financed project “Strengthening and energizing EU-Central Asia relations”, led by political scientist Prof. Michael Kaeding, was set up to establish a transdisciplinary research and stakeholder network between Europe and Central Asia. In November 2019, the final conference at Brussels brought 215 researchers, decision-makers and interest groups from 41 European and Central Asian countries together and debated the projec’s recommendations on the EU strategy for the region.

Since 2018, the project “NoVaMigra – Norms and Values in the European Migration and Refugee Crisis”, led by Prof. Andreas Niederberger, has been funded by the Horizon 2020 programme. Applying philosophical and sociological methodology, the project brings together scientists from eight European universities and provides complete comprehension of the “refugee crisis” and explores scenarios for the near future.