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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Sozialwissenschaften

Aktuelle Forschungsprojekte


Conflicts between religion and secularity (i.e., secular and religious discourses, norms, actors, and institutions) are shaped differently in differing socio-legal contexts in the Middle East and Europe. While current scholarship has often studied this tension by focusing on religious rituals (head-scarf, minarets, animal slaughter, etc.), we claim that new light can be shed on the religion/secularity tension by exploring a broader set of examples concerning bodily politics, that is legal contestations over images of the body and authority over the body. To explore the way secularity and religion shape and are shaped by the legal regulation of body politics we focus on three recent controversies: male circumcision, brain-dead organ donation, and abortion in three different countries Germany, Israel, and Turkey.

Leitung: Prof. Gökce Yurdakul, Prof. Shai Lavi (Tel Aviv University)

Laufzeit: 01/2016 - 12/2018


The second project phase aims to establish how EU professionals negotiate 'European' and 'local' stocks of knowledge in the context of EU-funded projects and how they influence the implementation of such projects, especially the allocation of financial resources. In addition to the aforementioned two countries Spain will be included in the study to also gain further insights about a Member State much affected by the eurozone crisis. Using the example of two selected areas of EU funding - the EU cohesion policy and the research funding 'Horizon 2020' -, the study places the procurement and translation services provided by funding specialists as well as the apparent difficulties encountered during this process under close investigation. By focusing on the practical dimension of EU-funded projects, Subproject 5 takes a close look at one of the central pillars of Europe's current crisis management strategy and explores the 'technical' implementation of EU policy-making from a sociological perspective, placing special emphasis on employment and knowledge. With these objectives in mind the study is meant to provide a better understanding of problems and challenges of Europeanization triggered by increasing expertization and professionalization of EU governance.

 Leitung: Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau

 Laufzeit: 10/2015 – 10/2018 (2. Phase)

 Förderung: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


How European welfare states will develop is hard to predict. People’s current aspirations, ideas and assumptions will be important drivers of change and persistence and of the extent to which conflict and solidarity surround change. This project uses innovative methods (deliberative democratic forums and qualitative cross-national focus group surveys) to develop an understanding of people’s aspirations for the Europe their children will inhabit. The interactive and discursive methods deal directly with people’s ideas, but are rarely used in comparative welfare studies. The project is essentially forward-looking. It will contribute to theoretical work on the main cleavages and solidarities driving social policy in and to more practical consideration of the parameters of acceptable policy change. It will supply new findings relevant to the politics and sociology of welfare and provide data for reanalysis and as a base-line in future studies. Research teams in six different European welfare states (United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Slovenia) started their work on 1 February 2015. The research consortium will be led by Peter Taylor-Gooby (University of Kent, UK).

Leitung: Prof. Peter Taylor-Gooby (Universität Kent, GB), deutsches Teilprojekt: Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau

Projektmitglieder: Dr. Jan-Ocko Heuer

Laufzeit: 2/2015 – 1/2018

Förderung: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Demographische, strukturelle und sozialpolitische Parallelen haben in der Wissenschaft vermehrt Vergleiche zwischen Japan und Deutschland angeregt. Die Alterung der Gesellschaft, vergleichbar niedrige Geburtenraten und die Prekarisierung von Arbeit im Kontext der ökonomischen Globalisierung sind gesellschaftliche Trends in beiden Ländern.

Leitung: Dr. Michael Hein

Laufzeit: 10/2014 – 09/2017

Förderung: Exzellenzinitiative des Bundes und der Länder


The TRANSFORmIG project entails interdisciplinary, multi-method research in selected localities in Great Britain, Germany and Poland. Spanning sociology, anthropology, urban and media studies, the project investigates with the help of a longitudinal qualitative study, individual and group interviews, ethnography and discourse analysis how people’s attitudes and skills to act in diverse societies change over time and in dependence with historical and contemporary conditions....

Leitung: Prof. Magdalena Nowicka

Laufzeit: 03/2013 - 08/2017

Förderung: Europäische Union (EU)