Universität Bonn

Forum Internationale Wissenschaft

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh

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Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh

Director of the Department for Comparative Research on Democracies


Heussallee 18-24

53113 Bonn

Rudolf Stichweh is from Lemgo/Lippe, Germany. He studied sociology and philosophy at the FU Berlin and at the University of Bielefeld, where he took a doctoral degree (Dr. rer. soc.) with a thesis on the origin of physics as a scientific discipline. Finishing a treatise on the correlation of state building and university development in early modern Europe, he gained his habilitation at the Faculty for Sociology of the University of Bielefeld in 1990.

From 1985-89 he worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies; in 1987 at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris; from 1989-94 at the Max-Planck-Institute for the history of European law at Frankfurt/Main. From 1994-2003 he was professor for sociological theory and general sociology at the Faculty for Sociology at the University of Bielefeld; from 1999-2003 he was dean of this faculty; in spring 2000 visiting professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris; in winter 2001/2 at the University of Vienna; from winter 2003 until summer 2012 professor for sociological theory and general sociology at the University of Lucerne; from October 2005 until July 2006 fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg at Berlin; from autumn 2006 until summer 2010 rector of the University of Lucerne. In spring 2011 he served as a visiting professor at Princeton University, N.J. Since 1 August 2012 he is Dahrendorf professor for “Theory of Modern Society” at the University of Bonn, and director of the associated Forum Internationale Wissenschaft; moreover, he is a permanent visiting professor at Lucerne’s faculty for Cultural and Social Sciences. Since 2014 he is a member of the North-Rhine Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

Stichweh’s publications include: Zur Entstehung des modernen Systems wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen (On the Emergence of the Modern Systems of Scientific Disciplines), Suhrkamp 1984; Der frühmoderne Staat und die europäische Universität (The Early Modern State and the European University), Suhrkamp 1991; Wissenschaft, Universität, Professionen (Science, University, Professions), Suhrkamp 1994 (2. Ed., Transcript 2013); Die Weltgesellschaft (World Society), Suhrkamp 2000; Inklusion und Exklusion (Inclusion and Exclusion), Transcript 2005 (2. Rev. ed. 2015); Der Fremde (The Stranger), Suhrkamp 2010.

In his research his main fields of interest are:  the theory of world society, theory of functional differentiation, sociology of the stranger, sociology of science and universities, theory of socio-cultural evolution, systems theory, sociology of art, sociology of sport, and the theory of inclusion and exclusion.

At present, he is preparing the book “Theorie der Weltgesellschaft” (Theory of World Society) and further books about an evolutionary theory of society, monographs on function systems (politics, science, art, sports) and about the university as a world organization.

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