Cultures of Crisis

The project "Cultures of Crisis" – initiated by the working group 'Concepts of Crisis' – examines in how far the western concept of crisis has undergone a globalization. The question is not whether crisis is used ubiquitously as a term to analyze or interpret change, but how non-european cultures and regions make use of the concept. What alternatives are there in different cultural and semantic contexts? How is the concept of crisis adopted and understood?

This questions will be answered in a sequence of three workshops that bring together experts form different regions and cultures. The first workshop – held in January 2018 at WZB – will deal with the social science perspective on the issue and focus on political systems, legitimacy and crisis. The second workshop will turn to the humanities, while the third workshop will deal with pragamatic dealings with crisis situations in different cultural contexts.

Participating Institutes

Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI)

German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF)

Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS)

Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS)

Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)

Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF)


Prof. Dr. Heiderose Kilper (former IRS)

Dr. Thorsten Thiel (WZB)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel (WZB)

Dr. Christian von Soest (GIGA)

Project term

03/2017 - 12/2018