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Junior Researcher

Funding Source: DFG Heisenberg-Professorship

Principal Investigator: Heiko Beyer (Department of Social Sciences)

Duration: 2018 - 2023

The Heisenberg project explores the contradictory and conflicting dynamics of human rights policies and the social contexts of their implementation. The aim is to examine the multilayered structure of the phenomenon looking not only at the world societal level but also at the national-institutional and life-world dimensions. In addition to the theoretical development of the paradoxes of global human rights, the research project aims to empirically analyze the emergence of informal norms of freedom and equality as well as the conditions for the practical compliance with such norms in everyday life.

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Funding Source: DFG Heisenberg Grant

Principal Investigator: Christian Tagsold (Department Modern Japanese Studies)

Duration: 06/2019 - 05/2024

The Heisenberg grant consists of three research sub-projects that examine how Japan constructs its own identity through cultural translation processes in exchange with the West.

The project Protection of Historical Buildings of Classical Modernity in Japan takes a look at how buildings from the 1920s onwards have been recently put under preservation orders, and how different architectural styles are redefined as expressions of Japaneseness within this process. During the real estate bubble of the 1980s, many older buildings were replaced by newer, more profitable ones. Initiatives by citizens and architectural historians attempted to save them, and eventually monument protection authorities fought for their preservation. This caused a paradigm shift, as the focus previously lay on supposedly 'authentic' Japanese buildings in rural regions.

The project The Idea of Japanese Closeness to Nature in Cultural Discourses of the Meiji and Taishō Eras analyses the supposed existence of a special kind of harmonious love towards nature in Japan, which is allegedly reflected in refined aesthetics. It is already widely accepted that this assumption can be attributed to nihonjinron, the cultural discourses of Japaneseness. The genesis of this idea, however, has not yet been comprehensively researched.

Finally, the project The Japanese Diaspora Network in Europe After Brexit deals with the consequences of Great Britain's retreat from the EU for Japanese residents living in London, as well as for other diasporas like in Paris and Düsseldorf. Diaspora research has usually been focused on the relation between centre and periphery, which in this case could refer to Tokyo and London. However, this project will take a closer look at the relations between diaspora locations within Europe during the Brexit crisis.

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Funding Source: Federal Ministry of Education and Research: Junior Research Group

Principal Investigator: Tobias Escher (Department of Social Sciences)

Duration: 05/2019 – 04/2024

The research group CIMT investigates the chances and challenges of involving citizens in political decisions in the context of sustainable mobility transitions. Our focus are local planning processes (both formal and informal) that aim to expand sustainable mobility. We investigate under what circumstances the involvement of citizens enables municipalities to increase the quality of political decisions on the one hand (in particular in relation to sustainability) and the public acceptance of the necessary measures on the other. What is more, the group aims to develop (semi-)automated approaches to analyse citizen contributions in order to support the evaluation of participatory processes.

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Funding Source: Ministry of Culture and Science North Rhine-Westphalia Junior Research Groups

Principal Investigator: Marc Ziegele (Department of Social Sciences)

Duration: 2018 - 2023

Online political discussions by citizens have a bad reputation. They are often considered rough, unsavoury and sometimes even hateful. The aim of the junior research group is to develop new measures of moderation and aggregation of online discussions (political follow-up communication) and to empirically investigate how these measures improve the quality and effects of the discussions. To this end, both basic scientific research and practice-oriented applied research is conducted.

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Funding Source: Université franco-allemande– Collège Doctoral

Project Lead: Andrea von Hülsen-Esch

Duration: 2022 - 2025

Cooperating partners: University of Tübingen, University of Aix-Marseille (F)

The Franco-German Doctoral Programme "Cultural Conflicts / Cultures of Conflict" is based on academic cooperation between the universities of Aix-Marseille, Tübingen and Düsseldorf. It promotes interdisciplinary research, interdisciplinary approaches as well as integrated doctoral studies in the fields of cultural, media and literary studies, history, philosophy, art history and political science, which - starting from a Franco-German perspective - deal with the relations of culture and conflict in a broad sense. The DFGK facilitates double degrees (doctoral theses in the form of the Cotutelle) and longer research stays at the respective partner universities of the doctoral students as well as their sustainable integration into excellent research networks in France, Germany and other countries.

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Funding Source: Ministry of Culture and Science North Rhine-Westphalia

Principal Investigator: Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy

Duration: 2014 - 2022

Cooperating partner: University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration of North Rhine-Westphalia

The PhD programme „Online Participation“ is funded by the North Rhine-Westphalian funding scheme “Fortschrittskollegs” and brings together scientists from the field of Computer Science, Business Studies, Law, Sociology, Communication Studies and Political Science as well as a large number of practitioners to investigate the opportunities the internet offers to involve citizens in the making of political and administrative decisions that affect them. The guiding question of the PhD programme is: “How and under what conditions can the potential of online participation in the political participation process at the local level be systematically developed, practically applied and scientifically evaluated?” To address this guiding question, more than a dozen PhD students together with the research staff of the programme work on a trans- and multidisciplinary basis.

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Scholarship programme of the Federal Foreign Office for coming to terms with German colonial rule in African, Asian and Pacific countries

Funding Source: DAAD, Federal Foreign Office

Project Lead HHU: Stefanie Michels (Department of Historical Studies)

Duration: 2021 - 2026

Cooperating partner: University Dschang/ Cameroon

Within the framework of the scholarship programme "German Colonial Rule", the Federal Foreign Office (AA)/DaAD is supporting young academics (doctoral candidates) from former German colonial regions to examine  German colonial rule in African, Asian and Pacific countries until 2026. Their research focuses on political activities of the responsible government agencies in the former German Reich and the political, economic and cultural impacts on the countries concerned.

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