Transformation of Contemporary Societies

Change in perspective

What are the social effects of demographic change?

The main research area investigates the change of contemporary societies from a perspective that interprets it as a reaction to phenomena of the dissolution of borders. For almost all areas of societal life, it can be observed that processes of communication and exchange, of social connection and social conflict are crossing over the borders of the sphere of action of the established societal institutions and hence of the societal establishments, standards and behavioural patterns by which these processes were regulated and channelled, for the most part with great success, in the modern era of the 20th century. Phenomena of dissolution of borders with considerable consequences for the development of world society are also to be found in so-called fragile societies, societies which have not formed such a system of institutions or which have lost it in the course of political upheavals. We can observe phenomena of dissolution of borders “externally” as well as “internally”: externally as the overstepping of limits of action of universal social institutions (inter-society dissolution of borders), and internally as the overstepping of the limits of action of institutions which are specifically directed towards individual fields of activity within society (society-internal dissolution of borders). Phenomena of border dissolution lead to a loss of influence on the part of the established societal institutions and create the need for the formation of a new order. The object of the focal research area is accordingly to research new forms of the building of order in the context of a borderless world.

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