Research perspectives in the humanities: New Research Initiatives

Efforts are particularly focused on new forms of cooperation spanning the various institutes. The Humanities Section of the Max Planck Society has developed a series of interdisciplinary research topics.

Government and legislation within the context of globalization and decentralization
The European Union is the first and only supranational organization in the world. The Treaty of Maastrich established the European Union in December 1991. The internationalization of cultural communication and economic interaction is progressing rapidly, requiring new regulatory structures both on the transnational and supranational levels.


Religious diversity in a united Europe
Tension between religious traditions and associated political, cultural, and social interests are a considerable source of potential conflict in Europe.


The history of architectural knowledge
The history of construction prior to the 19th century is largely based on oral tradition. The aim of one Max Planck Society research initiative is to reconstruct the history of undocumented knowledge.


The limits of rationality
The principle of rationality - the assumption of a formal decision-making process that weighs advantages, disadvantages, and risk, represents the fundamental self-concept of modern societies. There are justified reasons for doubting the rationality model. One interdisciplinary research initiative is investigating reasons for such doubts.


Medical law and ethics
Due to advances in medical science and the development of the legal and social state, medical law is a subject that is both topical and multifaceted.


Challenges of the information revolution
The effects of the technological revolution in the sphere of information processing are immense. A research project at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies is examining the interrelations and consequences of the information revolution.