Research Network Cultures of Compromise

Duration: 2021 – 2024

Project team: Prof. Dr. Ute Schneider (University Duisburg-Essen), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems (University Münster), Prof. Dr. Constantin Goschler (Ruhr University Bochum), Prof. Dr. Julia Metag and many more

Funding: Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia


The interdisciplinary research network "Cultures of Compromise" investigates the socio-economic, political-legal and cultural conditions of compromise in different contexts, cultures and eras. Based on an analysis of Western contemporary societies, the preconditions for compromise are explored from both a historical-comparative and a cultural/civilizational-comparative perspective. In a first step, Israel and Japan will be analyzed as comparative cultural cases.

The interdisciplinary research network, which combines the subjects of history, political science, law, communication studies, and literary studies, among others, consists of more than 30 scholars from the universities of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Münster (WWU), and Bochum (RUB). The network is headed by Prof. Dr. Ute Schneider (UDE, History), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Willems (WWU, Political Science) and Prof. Dr. Constantin Goschler (RUB, History). It is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW/NRW) with 2.1 million euros. The first funding phase (2021-2024) is to lead to a larger application project.

The aim of the research network is to bring together researchers from different scientific disciplines to study compromise in different contexts, cultures and eras. Life is not without compromise - but how does such an agreement succeed? What are its preconditions? What does it take for multiple parties to come to an agreement that satisfies everyone? Where do compromises have their limits? "Cultures of Compromise" explores these and other fundamental questions of human coexistence, which, surprisingly, have hardly been systematically researched so far in a comparative perspective of epochs and civilizations.

In addition, it aims to generate knowledge for reflection and action in dealing with the currently frequently diagnosed declining willingness and ability to compromise in liberal-democratic societies. The development of content and formats of scientific communication is therefore of great importance in order to make the expertise and research results of the interdisciplinary network "Cultures of Compromise" useful for politics and the public.