Research Groups

Research Groups aim at a long term interdisciplinary collaboration. They provide the frame in which scholars from various disciplines work together on a broader research theme. For an extended time, generally one year, they work and live at the ZiF.

List of all Research Groups

Resident Research Group


In Search of the Global Labour Market - Actors, Structures and Policies


Globalisation is on everybody's lips. Like few others this catchword epitomises the dynamic changes of present times, not least with regard to labour markets. Never before have such a large number of people emigrated in the hope of better working and living conditions. Never before were so many flight miles spent on business travel. For the highly qualified elites globalisation appears as a cornucopia of opportunities. In less privileged sectors of the labour market, above all in industry, employers refer to the 'pressure of globalisation' to justify the lowering of standards and wages or the shifting of jobs abroad.


Research Group in Preparation


Towards Understanding Southern Welfare - Ideational and historical foundations of social policies in Brazil, India, China and South Africa



Research Group in Postprocessing


Kinship and Politics - Rethinking a Conceptual Split and its Epistemic Implications in the Social Sciences


For a long time the decline of kinship in the course of Western history seemed so certain that there was little interest in research on this topic outside the study of "traditional" societies in anthropology and history. Central to Western self-understanding in the twenty-first century is that kinship plays no role in politics. This separation has a long genealogy and enormous consequences for research and policy-making. Particularly in the domain of modern politics the presence of kinship was (and is) seen as something to be exorcised in order to establish rational administrative systems, mobilise colonial populations and even destroy terrorist infrastructures. It is behind distinctions between modern and traditional, between Western and "Other" societies.