Research Field “The Dynamics of Order(s)”


Human (co-)existence is fundamentally shaped by patterns of order – despite all interruptions and disturbances. They create a supra-individual validity and behavioural expectations that concern all forms of relations, languages, work, thought and art, and thus serve as mechanisms to cope with contingency. At the same time orders prove to be historically contingent themselves. Especially in an era of globalization and intensified intercultural contact, they are exposed to new and diverse challenges, whether as a result of actual events or the upshot of critical debates. This can intensify conflicts or lead to creative solutions. The dual contingency of every order lies at the heart of this research field, not the least against the backdrop of ever-changing ideals of a ‘good’ and ‘just’ order and the normative implications for the communicative field of cultural encounters.

Adopting this as a point of departure, the research focus “The Dynamics of Order(s)” strives towards an interdisciplinary inquiry into how order and ideas of order are conveyed in media and how they change. A special focus lies in the critical investigation of those processes that create visibility or lead to exclusion. This should help clarify how a collective claim to an overriding and binding order both opens the portals to and at the same time closes the gates to new opportunities for action, both historically and currently. The ultimate goal is to elucidate precisely how orders become established in their respective areas and how society might consciously restructure them. The overall focus of activity thus builds on recognising order as a basic category of social ‘reality’ and its interpretation, be it affirmative, subversive, etc.


Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Roman Siebenrock

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