State, Politics and Governance in Historical Perspective

This research cluster focuses on innovative, interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse examination of changing forms of rule and statehood. Investigation of the logics of paper-, data- and knowledge-based government and administration as well as of internal communication, organization, and decision-making improves our understanding of the interactions between state and society. Analytical reference to questions of governance allows this interrelation to be viewed as a dynamic and changing network of relationships.

The members of this cluster have a broad range of expertise in both temporal and spatial terms: from early modern times to contemporary history, from Europe to Asia and Africa. They pursue a variety of methodological approaches, with media-theoretical and practical perspectives represented alongside approaches from social and institutional history. The broad period under study and the diverse fields of investigation enable doctoral candidates to relate contextual concepts such as state and rule and their respective interpretations to one another across epochs, thereby increasing awareness of their respective localization and historicity.