Current Events

4 - 8 October
Cooperation Group Meeting

Shifting Democratic and Social Norms

Paula Diehl (Kiel, GER), Birgit Sauer (Vienna, AUT)


5 October
Public Talk

Fortune and Misfortune of the Far Right. The French Case

Michel Wieviorka (Paris, FRA)


Open Calls

Coordinator for the Research Group "Internalizing Borders" (in German)

Call for Proposals:
Research in Groups

All Events

+++ Statement on the current situation in Ukraine +++

We are deeply saddened by the current events in Ukraine. Modern society in general and science in particular thrive on free exchange - across borders. Only in such an exchange will we be able to master the challenges of the present. As an institution that has been organising and hosting interdisciplinary and international research groups for over 50 years, we are horrified to see how, with the attack on Ukraine, the very foundations of our beliefs are also being attacked. Above all, our thoughts are with the people on site as well as with all those who suffer.

ZiF Gebäude Illustration

What is the ZiF?

The ZiF is Bielefeld University's Institute for Advanced Study and fosters outstanding and innovative interdisciplinary research projects. The ZiF is an independent thematically open research institution and is open to scholars from all disciplines and all countries.

ZiF Gebäude Foto
Flyer What is the ZiF?

Coronavirus - current regulations of Bielefeld University


From the Research and Cooperation Groups

Research Group ZiF Research Group

Economic and Legal Challenges in the Advent of Smart Products

October 2021 - July 2022

The interdisciplinary research group brings together a number of experts in law and economics as well as computer science, sociology and philosophy from different countries. They share a great interest in the challenges that arise from a legal and economic point of view in the digital age with smart products, for example in the area of highly automated vehicles or smart household appliances. One focus is on examining the effect of legal regulation, in particular liability and criminal law regulations, on the development and safety of these products. A second focus is on possible conflicting goals with regard to the connection of products and the protection of privacy and consumer trust. A third central topic of the group is the question of how the legal framework will affect technological change and how this change will in turn affect the future legal framework.


Cooperation Group ZiF Cooperation Group

Volcanoes, Climate and History

November 2021 – Ocober 2023

Volcanic eruptions can affect the Earth’s climate system, and climate variability occupies an uncomfortable place in historical enquiry. Even though human demography and history are closely connected with environmental conditions and change, most historians and archaeologists have been reluctant to consider climate for understanding political, economic, social and cultural transformations. Much of the scholarship addressing these complex relationships continues to be constrained by the disciplinary limits of individuals and institutions.


Cooperation Group ZiF Cooperation Group

Normative Challenges of the European Asylum System

May 2021 - October 2023

In the European Union, responsibility sharing in refugee protection is organized through supranational regulations. This fact raises several important questions: What kind of regulations are necessary to ensure fairness for each of the states? What conditions are necessary to ensure that responsibility sharing among states is also fair to refugees? How should the EU behave towards third countries and refugees living in third countries? These questions are reflected in the current controversies about the reform of the Dublin Regulation and the events at the external frontiers.


Cooperation GroupZiF Cooperation Group

Breaking Confines: Interdisciplinary Model-Building for a Complex World

March 2018 - September 2022

Model-building is a methodological centerpiece for addressing the challenges of a complex world. The Breaking Confines (BreaCon) cooperation group is intended to deal with modeling practices by interdisciplinary reflection and exchange. Its participants come from physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, the social sciences, history, and philosophy. They join forces in combining model-building as a central epistemic activity with studies on and analysis of model-building. The envisaged cooperative research process is essentially interdisciplinary in that the migration of models across disciplinary boundaries is pursued.


Current Publications

All Publications