Universität Bielefeld

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About Us


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 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.


Lecture Series: 'Signaturen der Weltgesellschaft':

Tuesday, 27.04.2021, 6.15 p. m. via Zoom:

Christina Morina (Bielefeld)

"The Invention of Marxism. How an idea conquered the world"

Tuesday, 15.06.2021, 6.15 p. m. via Zoom:

Hedwig Richter (München)

"The problem with 'equality' in the long 19th century. A narrative about democratization"

Tuesday, 29.06.2021, 6.15 p. m. via Zoom:

Lothar Brock & Hendrik Simon (Frankfurt a. M.)

"Constituting World Order through the Justification of War. From Early Modernity to the Present"