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Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh

Principal Investigator

Rudolf Stichweh

University of Bonn
Forum Internationale Wissenschaft
Heussallee 18-24
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 / (0)228 / 73 62994



Current Position

Director of the “Forum Internationale Wissenschaft”
Dahrendorf Professorship “Theory of Modern Society“


Among the research interests of Rudolf Stichweh are two closely related to asymmetric dependencies:

  1. He is working on a general sociological theory of inclusion and exclusion, especially with regard to the worldwide function systems of contemporary society. From this perspective, he will look to forms of indirect inclusion (inclusions mediated by other, more powerful persons who sponsor or patronize inclusion) and to forms of inclusion into society that begin with an act of exclusion (inclusion via monasteries, hospitals, institutions of penal law).
  2. Looking primarily at premodern societies, he does research on persons who are perceived as strangers but are then incorporated into social systems. This then defines role sets for the participation of strangers in the society.

There are many variants and forms of dependency related to these variants: guest roles in traditional societies, adoption and enslavement of strangers as as consequence of war, privileging or discriminating strangers as institutionalizations of dependency, and marriage partners as dependent strangers.

10 books, 8 edited volumes, 234 papers and 23 reviews. Approximately 500 national and international lectures and presentations.


  • 1990                   Habilitation in Sociology, Venia legendi for “Sociology”, University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 1978–1983         Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 1972–1977         Diploma Studies in Sociology and Philosophy, Free University of Berlin and University of Bielefeld, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2012–present     Professor “Theory of Modern Society“, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2003–2012         Professor of Sociological Theory and General Sociology at the Faculty of  Cultural and Social Sciences,
                               University of Lucerne, Switzerland
  • 1994–2003         Professor of Sociological Theory, Faculty of Sociology, University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 1989–1994         Research Associate Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt, Germany

Scholarships and Awards

  • 1985–1989         Scholarship‚ Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany

Additional Academic Activities

  • 2015–present     Editor of "Global Studies and Theory of Society", book series of the 'Forum Internationale Wissenschaft’,
                               University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2014–present     Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts
  • 1995–present     Editor of the journal “Soziale Systeme. Zeitschrift für soziologische Theorie” (“Social Systems. Journal of
                               Sociological Theory”)

Third-Party Funding

  • 2013–2020         Mercator Foundation: project entitled “Politics and Sociology of the Science System"
  • 2005–2015         Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF): three individual projects entitled
                               "The Law of Humanitarian Intervention"
                               "Semantics of Romantic Love in Japan"
                               "Knowledge Sociology of Economics"
  • 2003–2006         DFG Research Training Group “World Concepts and Global Structural Patterns” (main applicant and spokesperson)
  • 2003–2005         German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): Graduate School of the Faculty of Sociology, University of Bielefeld
                               (main applicant and spokesperson)
  • 2002–2005         DFG project on Citizenship in Germany, France, England (in the cluster "The Space of the Political in History"),
                               Faculty of History, University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 2000–2004         Volkswagen Foundation: individual project on "Friendship and Kinship" (in the program: Key Problems of the
                               Humanities (together with Schuster et al.)
  • 2000–2003         DFG individual project “Science in the Global Society”

Total sum of more than 5 million euros.

Selected Publications

  • Wissenschaft, Universität, Professionen. Soziologische Analysen. Bd. 2. [Science, University, Professions. Sociological Analyses Vol. 2]. Bielefeld 2017.
  • Inklusion und Exklusion. Studien zur Gesellschaftstheorie. [Inclusion and Exclusion. Studies on the Theory of Society]. Bielefeld 2005 (2nd expanded edition, Bielefeld 2016).
  • Der Fremde. Studien zu Soziologie und Sozialgeschichte. [The Stranger. Studies on Sociology and Social History]. Berlin 2010.
  • Die Weltgesellschaft: Soziologische Analysen. [World Society. Sociological Analyses]. Frankfurt 2000.
  • Wissenschaft, Universität, Professionen. Soziologische Analysen. Bd. 1. [Science, University, Professions. Sociological Analyses. Vol. 1]. Frankfurt 1994 (reprint 2013).
  • Der frühmoderne Staat und die europäische Universität. Zur Interaktion von Politik und Erziehungssystem im Prozeß ihrer Ausdifferenzierung. [The Early Modern State and the European University. On the Interaction of Politics and the Educational System in the Process of their Differentiation]. Frankfurt 1991.
  • 5. Études sur la genèse du système scientifique modern. [Studies on the Genesis of the Modern System of Science]. Lille 1991
  • With Mayntz: Rosewitz, Schimank Differenzierung und Verselbständigung. Zur Entwicklung gesellschaftlicher Teilsysteme. [Differentiation and Autonomization. The Development of Societal Subsystems]. Frankfurt 1988.
  • Zur Entstehung des modernen Systems wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen. Physik in Deutschland 1740-1890. [On the Emergence of the Modern System of Scientific Disciplines. Physics in Germany 1740-1890]. Frankfurt 1984.
  • Ausdifferenzierung der Wissenschaft. Eine Analyse am deutschen Beispiel. [The Differentiation of Science. An Analysis of Germany as an Example]. Bielefeld 1977/1981.
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