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About the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft

The Forum Internationale Wissenschaft (FIW) is a central scientific institution of the University of Bonn, founded in 2012. The FIW considers itself an essential part of the internationalization strategy of the University of Bonn. The scientific departments focus on the subject areas of Comparative Research on Democracies and Authoritarian Regimes, Science Studies and the Politics of Science, Comparatitive Research on Religions and Digital Society. The choice of research topics takes account of the presence of both national and international organizations in the federal city of Bonn and in the Cologne/Bonn region.

 

The research  itself is based on contemporary theories such as systems theory and variants of institutionalism. It looks for regional variants and global interrelations in function systems such as politics, science and probably we will add religion and the economy. Based on its thematic focus, the FIW establishes academic cooperation and networks at Bonn as a location for science.

 

The FIW offers a regular series of lectures titled “Perspectives of Modernity”, which tackles a different topic every semester. This format makes it possible to raise public awareness on current scientific and political subjects, on which the FIW researchers also create teaching and conference formats such as summer schools, workshops and panel discussions.

 

One part of the Forum consists of the library of Sir Ralf Dahrendorf and the Dahrendorf chair for “Theory of Modern Society”, which is held by the director of the Forum, Rudolf Stichweh. In the long run, it may be possible that we establish a Dahrendorf center for the theory of social conflicts, which aims at bringing back the theme of conflict and its interrelations with competition and cooperation into the center of sociological thinking.

 

Theoretical hypotheses of the Forum connect with the theory of world society and the sociological theory of functional differentiation, which is most suitable for visualizing and explaining the extreme diversity of world society in the heterogeneous communication contexts of the function systems (economy, politics, science, law, health, religion, education, mass media, family and intimate relationships). The regional diversification of world society lies orthogonal to the function systems, which means that the regions of world society create diversified and regionally specific patterns of interaction between the function systems. These topics are in the ongoing research of the FIW deepened by furthermore looking at three questions: The patterns of inclusion of individual persons into these function systems, the patterns of responsivity by the function systems to demands arising in other functional contexts, and thirdly the emergence of the organization as a global social form. What is characteristic of organizations is that they establish interrelations and structural couplings between plural functional contexts and that therefore they are mediators of responsivity.

 

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