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Universität Bielefeld/P. Ottendörfer

Research at ZiF

Interdisciplinary research in groups is both ZiF's central task and most important asset. The topics of our research groups are manifold and cover many different disciplines.

On these pages you will find our longer-term research groups – explore them to learn about current, past, and future research projects at ZiF. The shorter formats, like Workshops, can be found in our event calendar.

Ongoing Research

All Research Groups

  • Economic and Legal Challenges in the Advent of Smart Products

Gerd Mühlheußer (Hamburg, GER)
Herbert Dawid (Bielefeld, GER)
Sabine Gless (Basel, SUI)

  • Global Contestations of Women’s and Gender Rights

Alexandra Scheele (Bielefeld, GER)
Julia Roth (Bielefeld, GER)
Heidemarie Winkel (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Multimodal Rhetoric in Online Media Communications

Kay O'Halloran (Liverpool, GBR)
John Bateman (Bremen, GER)
Mehul Bhatt (Örebro, SWE)


  • Cognitive Behaviour of Humans, Animals, and Machines: Situation Model Perspectives

Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER)
Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

  • ‘Felix Culpa’? Guilt as Culturally Productive Force

Matthias Buschmeier (Bielefeld, GER)
Katharina von Kellenbach (St. Marys City, USA)

  • Understanding Southern Welfare. Ideational and Historical Foundations of Social Policies in Brazil, India, China and South Africa

Ulrike Davy (Bielefeld, GER)
Lutz Leisering (Bielefeld, GER)

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

Ursula Mense-Petermann (Bielefeld, GER)
Thomas Welskopp (Bielefeld, GER)
Anna Zaharieva (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Kinship and Politics: Rethinking a Conceptual Split and Its Epistemic Implications in the Social Sciences

Erdmute Alber (Bayreuth, GER)
David Warren Sabean (Los Angeles, USA)
Simon Teuscher (Zürich, SUI)
Tatjana Thelen (Wien, AUT)

  • Genetic and Social Causes of Life Chances

Martin Diewald (Bielefeld, GER)
Rainer Riemann (Bielefeld, GER)

  • The Ethics of Copying

Reinold Schmücker (Münster, GER)
Thomas Dreier (Karlsruhe, GER)
Pavel Zahrádka (Olomouc, CZE)

  • Robust Finance: Strategic Power, Knightian Uncertainty, and the Foundations of Economic Policy Advice

Frank Riedel (Bielefeld, GER)
Chris Shannon (Berkeley, USA)

  • Balancing Religious Accommodation and Human Rights in Constitutional Frameworks

Mirjam Künkler (Princeton, USA)
Hanna Lerner (Tel Aviv, ISR)
Shylashri Shankar (New Delhi, IND)

  • Normative Aspects of Public Health

Stefan Huster (Bochum, GER)
Thomas Schramme (Hamburg, GER)

  • Competition and Priority Control in Mind and Brain: New Perspectives from Task-Driven Vision

Werner Schneider (Bielefeld, GER)
Wolfgang Einhäuser-Treyer (Marburg, GER)

  • Stochastic Dynamics: Mathematical Theory and Applications

Leonid Bogachev (Leeds, GBR)
Benjamin Bolker (Hamilton, CAN)
Yuri Kondratiev (Bielefeld, GER)
Otso Ovaskainen (Helsinki, FIN)

  • The Message of Quantum Science – Attempts Towards a Synthesis

Jürg Fröhlich (Zürich, SUI)
Philippe Blanchard (Bielefeld, GER)

  • The Cultural Constitution of Causal Cognition: Re-Integrating Anthropology into the Cognitive Sciences

Andrea Bender (Freiburg, GER)
Sieghard Beller (Paderborn, GER)

  • Communicating Disaster

Jörg Bergmann (Bielefeld, GER)
Heike Egner (Klagenfurt, AUT)
Volker Wulf (Siegen, GER

  • Challenges to the Image of Humanity and Human Dignity by New Developments in Medical Technology

Jan C. Joerden (Frankfurt (Oder), GER)
Eric Hilgendorf (Würzburg, GER)
Felix Thiele (Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, GER)

  • E Pluribus Unum? Ethnic Identities in Transnational Integration Processes in the Americas

Sebastian Thies (Bielefeld, GER)
Josef Raab (Duisburg-Essen, GER)
Olaf Kaltmeier (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Control of Violence

Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (Bielefeld, GER)
Wilhelm Heitmeyer (Bielefeld, GER)


  • Science in the Context of Application

Martin Carrier (Bielefeld, GER)
Wolfgang Krohn (Bielefeld, GER)
Alfred Nordmann (Darmstadt, GER)
Gregor Schiemann (Wuppertal, GER)
Peter Weingart (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Embodied Communication in Humans and Machines

Ipke Wachsmuth (Bielefeld, GER)
Günther Knoblich (Newark, USA)

  • Stochastic Modelling in the Sciences: Stochastic Partial Differential Equations and Random Media

Friedrich Götze (Bielefeld, GER)
Yuri Kondratiev (Bielefeld, GER)
Michael Röckner (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Emotions as Bio-Cultural Processes

Hans J. Markowitsch (Bielefeld, GER)
Birgitt Röttger-Rössler (Göttingen, GER)

  • General Theory of Information Transfer and Combinatorics

Rudolf Ahlswede (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Procedural Approaches to Conflict Resolution. Designing Analytical Support for Interactive Group Decision Making

Matthias Raith (Magdeburg, GER)
Joachim Rosenmüller (Bielefeld, GER)
Walter Trockel (Bielefeld, GER)

  • The Sciences of Complexity: From Mathematics to Technology to a Sustainable World

Philippe Blanchard (Bielefeld, GER)
Ricardo Lima (Marseille, FRA)
Ludwig Streit (Bielefeld, GER)
Rui Vilela Mendes (Lisbon, POR)

  • Making Choices. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Modelling Decision Behaviour

Werner Güth (Berlin, GER)
Joachim Frohn (Bielefeld, GER)
Hartmut Kliemt (Duisburg, GER)
Reinhard Selten (Bonn, GER)

  • Rational Environmental Policy – Rational Environmental Legislation

Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Theory of Social Change

Günter Dux (Freiburg, GER)

  • Multi-Scale Phenomena: The Simulation of Complex Systems on Massively Parallel Computers

Frithjof Karsch (Bielefeld, GER)
Burkhard Monien (Paderborn, GER)
Helmut Satz (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Interactions of Oriented Molecules

Jürgen Hinze (Bielefeld, GER)
Ulrich Heinzmann (Bielefeld, GER)
Hansjürgen Loesch (Bielefeld, GER)
Wilhelm Raith (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Perception and the Role of Evolutionary Internalised Regularities of the Physical World

Dieter Heyer (Kiel, GER)
Rainer Mausfeld (Kiel, GER)

  • Historical Meaning Construction. Interdisciplinary Research into Structure, Logic and Function of Historical Awareness – a Cross-Cultural Comparison

Jörn Rüsen (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Prerational Intelligence

Holk Cruse (Bielefeld, GER)
Helge Ritter (Bielefeld, GER)

  • National Self-Image and Public Image in East European States – Manifestations in Discourse

Reinhard Fiehler (Bielefeld, GER)
Elisabeth Gülich (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Semantical Aspects of Spacetime Theories

Ulrich Majer (Göttingen, GER)
Heinz-Jürgen Schmidt (Osnabrück, GER)

  • Mental Models in Discourse Processing

Christopher Habel (Hamburg, GER)
Gert Rickheit (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Biological Foundations of Human Culture

Peter Weingart (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Combinatorics and Its Applications

Walter Deuber (Bielefeld, GER)
Andreas Dress (Bielefeld, GER)
Bernhard Korte (Bonn, GER)

  • Mind and Brain – Perspectives in Theoretical Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind

Peter Bieri (Bielefeld, GER)
Eckart Scheerer (Oldenburg, GER)

  • State Tasks

Dieter Grimm (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Game Theory in the Behavioural Sciences

Reinhard Selten (Bonn, GER)

  • Citizens, Bourgeois Way of Life and Civil Society. The 19. Century – a European Comparison

Jürgen Kocka (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Complex Liquids

Thomas Dorfmüller (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Perception and Action

Herbert Heuer (Bielefeld, GER)
Odmar Neumann (Bielefeld, GER)
Wolfgang Prinz (Bielefeld, GER)
Andries Frans Sanders (Aachen, GER)

  • Infinitely Many Degrees of Freedom – Physics and Mathematics

Ludwig Streit (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Constituents and Confinement

Helmut Satz (Bielefeld, GER)

  • The Probabilistic Revolution 1800-1930: Dynamics of Scientific Development

Lorenz Krüger (Berlin, GER)

  • Guidance and Control in the Public Sector

Franz-Xaver Kaufmann (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Social Therapy Institutions in Correctional Facilities

Lothar Nellessen (Kassel, GER)
Stephan Quensel (Bremen, GER)
Horst Schüler-Springorum (München, GER)
Friedrich Specht (Göttingen, GER)

  • History of Literary Utopias in Early Modern Times

Wilhelm Voßkamp (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Properties and Reactions of Isolated Molecules and Atoms

Jürgen Hinze (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Interdisciplinary Research Year: 1978/79

1. Philosophy and History

Reinhart Koselleck (Bielefeld, GER)

2. Theory of Science

Reinhard Selten (Bielefeld, GER)

3. History of Science

Peter Weingart (Bielefeld, GER)

4. Economic History

Jürgen Kocka (Bielefeld, GER)

5. International Economic Law

Norbert Horn (Bielefeld, GER)

6. Structures and Models in Physics and Mathematics

Helmut Satz (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Comparative Behavioural Ontogenesis at Humans and Animals

Klaus lmmelmann (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Youth Services Planning

Otfried Kießler (Bielefeld, GER)
Friedrich Ortmann (Bremen, GER)
Hans-Uwe Otto (Bielefeld, GER)
Hans Thiersch (Tübingen, GER)

  • Linguistics and History

Reinhart Koselleck (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Historical Determinants for Organizational Forms of Modern Commercial Enterprises

Norbert Horn (Bielefeld, GER)
Jürgen Kocka (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Dynamical Models and Statistical Methods

Helmut Satz (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Mathematical Problems of Quantum Dynamics

Ludwig Streit (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Law and Social Sciences

Norbert Horn (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Journalism and Science

Harald Weinrich (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Social Planning

Hermann Korte (Bielefeld, GER)

  • Set Theory

Harald Weinrich (Bielefeld, GER)

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