Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“


Theme, Basic Orientation, New Accents

Established in 2006, the Konstanz Center of Excellence is focused on a theme of great topical relevance, which is approached through a set of theoretical premises. With its core concepts of “culture” and “integration”, the theme ties together questions stemming from cultural studies and the social sciences, framed by a broader group of disciplines ranging from philology to history, philosophy, sociology and political science, and onward to legal studies.

At the University of Konstanz, theoretical research has always been pursued on the basis of careful empirical analysis of both historical and contemporary phenomena. In a corresponding manner, at the Center a focus in problems of theory and basic method is brought together with empirical research in the humanities and social sciences. With the title “Cultural Foundations of Social Integration,” we have consciously dispensed with any preliminary spatial or temporal determination of the benchmarks for integration.

In this way, at the Center processes of integration and disintegration are studied on all social levels—from the requirements for familial and neighborly cooperation to political processes unfolding on a global scale. One of the principal challenges facing the Center’s academic research is thus doing justice to the urgent social discourse devoted to these processes.

Important new substantive and structural accents in the second research phase

The second research phase will be characterized by important new substantive and structural accents.

  • For example, the Center’s ethnological research area will be expanded through establishment of a guest professorship.
  • In the framework of support for graduate studies, the successful master’s program in the “Studies in European Culture” will be broadened both institutionally and thematically in a new doctoral program, “Europe in the Globalized World.”
  • In a sometimes significantly modified way, the Center will maintain its four research areas from the initial period.