Gerhard Mercator Research Training Group Cosmopolitanism, Tolerance and Public Spirit

Cosmopolitanism, tolerance and public spiritGerhard Mercator Graduate School

What is the Gerhard Mercator Research Training Group?

The interdisciplinary Research Training Group at the UDE is funded by the Mercator Foundation.
In line with the foundation's self-image, it focuses on Duisburg and looks out into the world.

The cooperation is enriched by the diversity of academic perspectives (from social and political sciences, art and cultural studies, socio-economics, philosophy to psychology). The international backgrounds and professional experiences in art, culture, political and social work influence the projects.

What is being worked on?

In a democratic society that is characterised by ethnic, religious and cultural diversification, the question of the conditions for social cohesion is constantly being asked.

Openness to the world, tolerance and public spirit are ideals that are as central as they are controversial: Who defines these ideals? Who claims them for themselves? Who demands them? Are they a means to an end or an end in themselves? Are they just and freely accessible to all or are they also used to deter and exclude?

The Research Training Group has set itself the task of analytically grasping different varieties of cosmopolitanism, tolerance and public spirit and illuminating them from multiple perspectives. It aims to contribute to new scientific ideas, methods and data - and thus to interdisciplinary knowledge of what societies shaped by these ideals look like and could look like.

How will this be implemented?

Research will be conducted in, but above all with, Duisburg in order to take into account, enable and make visible a plurality of perspectives.

To this end, municipal research partnerships are formed at eye level with local and civil society actors, public sector institutions, research organisations and Duisburg citizens themselves.

In this joint process, local actors can expand their expert knowledge through scientific methods and research perspectives, while their own research is enriched by the inclusion of previously hidden local knowledge. This exchange is framed and supported by an international network.

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