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Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh

Principal Investigator


Universität Bonn
Forum Internationale Wissenschaft 
Heussallee 18-24
D-53113 Bonn
Tel.: +49-0228-73-62994
E-mail: rstichweh[at]

Current Position: 

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


1972-1977       Diploma Studies in Sociology and Philosophy, Free University of Berlin and University of Bielefeld
1978-1983       Doctoral Thesis in Sociology, University of Bielefeld
1990                Habilitation in Sociology, University of Bielefeld, Venia legendi for “Sociology”

Academic Positions

1985-1989       Scholarship‚ Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne
1989-1994       Research Associate Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt
1994-2003       Professor of Sociological Theory, University of Bielefeld, Faculty of Sociology
2003-2012       Professor of Sociological Theory and General Sociology at the University of Lucerne,
    Faculty of  Cultural and Social Sciences
2012-present    Professor “Theory of Modern Society“, UoB, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft

Additional Academic Activities: 

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


Among the research interests of RS 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

Third-Party Funding: 

DFG individual project “Science in the Global Society” (2000-3); DFG Research Training Group “World Concepts and Global Structural Patterns” (2003-6, main applicant and spokesperson); DFG project on Citizenship in Germany, France, England (in the cluster "The Space of the Political in History"), Faculty of History, University of Bielefeld (2002-5); German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD): Graduate School of the Faculty of Sociology, University of Bielefeld (2003-5, main applicant and spokesperson); Volkswagen Foundation: individual project on "Friendship and Kinship" (in the program: Key Problems of the Humanities (2000-4, together with Schuster et al.); Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF): three individual projects entitled "The Law of Humanitarian Intervention", "Semantics of Romantic Love in Japan", "Knowledge Sociology of Economics" (between 2005 and 2015); Mercator Foundation: project entitled “Politics and Sociology of the Science System" (2013-2020) – total sum, more than 5 million euros)

Selected Publications:

  1. Ausdifferenzierung der Wissenschaft. Eine Analyse am deutschen Beispiel [The Differentiation of Science. An Analysis of Germany as an Example]. Bielefeld 1977/1981.
  2. 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.
  3. With Mayntz, Rosewitz, Schimank, Differenzierung und Verselbständigung. Zur Entwicklung gesellschaftlicher Teilsysteme [Differentiation and Autonomization. The Development of Societal Subsystems]. Frankfurt 1988.
  4. 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. 5.    Études sur la genèse du système scientifique modern [Studies on the Genesis of the Modern System of Science]. Lille 1991
  6. Wissenschaft, Universität, Professionen. Soziologische Analysen. Bd. 1 [Science, University, Professions. Sociological Analyses. Vol. 1]. Frankfurt 1994 (reprint 2013).
  7. Die Weltgesellschaft: Soziologische Analysen [World Society. Sociological Analyses]. Frankfurt 2000.
  8. Inklusion und Exklusion. Studien zur Gesellschaftstheorie [Inclusion and Exclusion. Studies on the Theory of Society]. Bielefeld 2005 (2nd expanded edition, Bielefeld 2016).
  9. Der Fremde. Studien zu Soziologie und Sozialgeschichte [The Stranger. Studies on Sociology and Social History]. Berlin 2010.
  10. Wissenschaft, Universität, Professionen. Soziologische Analysen. Bd. 2 [Science, University, Professions. Sociological Analyses Vol. 2]. Bielefeld 2017.  
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