Institutional Environment


Institute for World Society Studies

The Institute for World Society Studies conducts and supports research on a range of global issues. It takes concepts of world society as particularly developed in sociological systems theory and in sociological neo-institutionalism as theoretical signposts for conceptual and empirical work, yet also accommodates other approaches from different theoretical and disciplinary backgrounds in globalization research and transnationalism studies.

Contemporary research within the Institute includes, inter alia, work on the emergence of the system of world politics, functional differentiation of world society, issues of global social policy, the emergence of the modern nation-state in the context of world society, and research on the concept of global social inequality. A detailed list of ongoing research activities can be found here. A list of recent and forthcoming publications is available here.

In addition to its role as an active research institute, the Institute for World Society studies also serves as a thematic focus point for a range of doctoral dissertations and post-doc research projects which are not formally part of the Institute, but highlight the prominence of its thematic range in its immediate research environment.

SInstitut for World Society Studies

The Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS)

The Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) offers doctoral researchers an innovative research environment that fosters creativity through interdisciplinary exchange. The main characteristic of the graduate school is the integration of research from a variety of fields (sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and gender studies) into a joint organizational framework and a joint curriculum.

Because innovative science emerges from and thrives in a creative atmosphere, the BGHS promotes small working groups with individualized guidance and supports the formation of a diverse and lively community among its doctoral researchers. Young researchers are also supported in their efforts to combine family life and an academic career.

One of the explicit aims at the BGHS is to prepare our doctoral researchers for the academic or non-academic labour market in Germany and abroad. The graduate school collaborates with foreign researchers, promotes the participation of our doctoral researchers in international conferences, integrates studies abroad into our doctoral program and helps build key skills so that our doctoral researchers can position themselves well in the international scientific community. As preparation for work in a non-academic context, the graduate school provides career service and programs to enhance key qualifications.

At the graduate school, intellectual and interdisciplinary exchange across national borders is promoted through a guest lecturers program and through short-term visiting fellowships for foreign researchers. We also host an annual seminar in history and sociology which draws international young researchers to Bielefeld each year.

Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology

Faculty of Sociology

Faculty of Law

Department of History


Official Opening of the RTG on 24 October

We would like to invite you to the Official Opening of the RTG and the guest lecture "'Lies are the Law of the World!' News and Global Media Networks in the Twentieth Century" by Prof. Dr. Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) on Tuesday, 24 October at 18:15 in room no. X C3-107.

The RTG "World Politics" started on 01 October

On 01 October 2017, the Research Training Group "World politics: The emergence of political arenas and modes of observation in world society" started. Nine doctoral researchers and one post-doctoral researcher took up their positions.

The RTG is approved

We are pleased to announce that the DFG has approved our Research Training Group application. The new Research Training Group `World politics: The emergence of political arenas and modes of observation in world society´ will start 01 October 2017.