SOCIETY aims to contribute to understanding societies as well as the individuals living and acting in these societies. It is thus concerned with the analysis of societal structures and challenges as well as the institutions and actors acting in these societies. In this context, the social dimension - the interpersonal - is equally at the center of interest as national and international contexts, i.e. relationships between states and communities of states.  

Since the founding of the HWK, the scientific area then called "Social Sciences/Social Policy" has been one of the core areas of the institute. In the meantime, it has taken on a much broader perspective; in the sense of the above-mentioned interest in knowledge related to societies and individuals, the HWK would like to address the entire spectrum of the social sciences and humanities: in addition to sociology and political science, neighboring social science disciplines as well as humanities subjects - for example, economics, history, law, philosophy or linguistics.  

It is important to the HWK that projects make a contribution to the understanding of societies and their members, regardless of the disciplinary affiliation of the applicant. Numerous issues and research questions will not fit exclusively into the SOCIETY area described here, but will rather connect to topics in the other areas (BRAIN & MIND, EARTH, ENERGY) in the HWK. The HWK offers excellent conditions for working on such inter- or transdisciplinary issues (e.g. climate protection, economics of renewable energies, decision-making behavior of groups and individuals).

More in this Area

The Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg was of great value for my intellectual development. The quality of my scholarship has been pushed to a new level.
Prof. Dr. Alison Moore, Western Sydney University (Fellow 2019/20)

Numerous fellows of the HWK cooperate in their projects with colleagues at neighboring universities and research institutes, especially the universities of Bremen and Oldenburg. However, fellowship projects without such regional cooperation are also possible. Within the broad range of topics in the social sciences and humanities outlined above, the SOCIETY area is open to applications for fellowships or conferences or workshops. The HWK website provides information on the variety of research topics addressed so far in the context of fellowships and workshops.

Since its foundation, the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg has approved projects on the following topics, among others:

  • comparative analysis of welfare states and social policy
  • studies of European politics and society
  • Globalization, transnationalization and the transformation of statehood
  • socio-cultural consequences of demographic development
  • Social theory, political theory and history of ideas
  • Urban Sociology
  • Analyses of the tension between security and freedom
  • State formation and development of contemporary societies since early modern times
  • History of medicine

Applications in the Area SOCIETY

Familiarize yourself with work and life at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg an check the eligibility criteria for applications in the research area SOCIETY on our applications page.


Wolfgang Stenzel