Cluster E — Diagnosis & Practice

Project area E focuses on the relationship between diagnoses and the practice of coping with threats to social orders. On the one hand, this project area investigates how diagnoses of a threat can be incrementally translated into coping practices (operationalization). On the other hand, it seeks to analyze how experiences that arise during the process of operationalization impact the diagnoses themselves. The goal of component project E is to develop generalizable patterns, mechanisms, practice logics, and criteria to create a typology of Threatened Orders.


E01: Ordo amplissimus. The threat to the Eastern Roman imperial elite under emperor Justinian I.

Principal investigator: Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner

Project E01 examines the relationship between threat diagnoses and coping practices based on the history of the Eastern Roman imperial elite during the reign of Emperor Justinian (527-565 AD). Starting from the hypothesis that the threat to the Eastern Roman imperial elite was an unintended consequence of imperial action, the first goal of the project is to more clearly identify the protagonists, scope and relevance of the threat diagnosis. Based on this, questions are then addressed about the effects of the subsequent coping practices on the hierarchy and status order. The project pays particular attention to the synchronous interdependence between the status order and the re-ordering of the monarchy that took place under Justinian.

E02: Viri absentes. Re-ordering of gender orders in the context of Roman expansion (2nd–1st century BC)

Principal investigators: Lisa Eberle & Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner

Project E02 analyses the interdependence between a war-related shortage of men in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. which led to a threat to the established order in rural areas of the Roman Empire, and the re-ordering of gender orders that occurred at the same time. In this context, particular attention is paid to the question of how the coping practices – which initially focused on the threat diagnosis of the absence of men (e.g. as heads of families) – affected the social position of women.

E04: Threat communication, coping practices and financial market speculation. Stock market booms, crashes and knowledge practices (18th–19th century)

Principal investigators: Renate Dürr & Daniel Menning

Project E04 investigates the threat diagnosis related to the stock market crash that occurred in the second half of the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the subsequent coping practices that were implemented. Special attention is paid to the relevance of diachronic interdependencies. In concrete terms, the objective is to examine how knowledge about hyper-speculation and price crashes that had been accumulated to that point influenced threat diagnoses and coping practices in the context of stock market crashes. The project thus applies the threatened orders model to achieve a better understanding of the re-ordering that occurred in the financial and economic system of order in the 18th and 19th centuries.

E06: Threat and diversity in the urban context. Ethnically heterogeneous and unequal urban districts in the global South

Principal investigator: Boris Nieswand

Project E06 investigates how synchronous interdependencies are established through threat diagnoses in unequal and ethnically heterogeneous urban districts, and what effects such interdependencies have on the re-ordering of the urban districts and their populations. Of particular interest is the question of how specific topoi of threat influence coping practices. In this context, the study focuses on demarcation and hierarchization as modes of creating synchronous interdependencies between urban districts and their populations.

Cluster F — Mobilisation

Project area F investigates the influence that processes of mobilization can have on the relationship between diagnoses and practices of coping. Research focuses on the question of how actors, groups and societies are mobilized, with a particular emphasis given to the influence of power and agency on the process of mobilization.


F01: Transformation through threat. Threatened Orders and the development of the late Roman monarchy/monarchies

Principal investigator: Mischa Meier

Project F01 aims to operationalise the paradigm of transformation based on an exemplary object of investigation. To this end, a diachronic analysis of the late Roman monarchy/monarchies in the period from the 5th to the 7th century is planned that will focus on specific phases of threat and re-ordering. This project will thus demonstrate the analytical potential of the CRC approach, especially with regards to questions concerning the conceptualization of epochal transitions. 

F02: From Carolingian order to “société féodale”? Threatened Order and change in the Carolingian world

Principal investigators: Annette Grabowsky & Steffen Patzold

Following preliminary work on the years around 1100 and 900, Project F02 will continue its analyses of the diachronic succession of restructuring processes in the context of the transformation of the Carolingian order. The project will now look at a period around 1000 that has already been discussed for some time under keywords such as “mutation” and “révolution féodale”, and which is said to have brought about dramatic changes in the entire system of order in Western and Central Europe. This period will be re-examined with the help of CRC concepts, and the analysis will provide a new perspective on an innovative model of the transformation of the Carolingian world and the emergence of the Latin-European Middle Ages from about 900 to 1100.

F03: Craftsmen – farmers – clergymen. Threats to social-moral systems of order in religious literary discourse (15th–17th century)

Principal investigators: Andreas Holzem & Klaus Ridder

Project F03 examines the relationship between religiously influenced threat communication and social order in a diachronic comparative study using three exemplary constellations that span different epochs. We ask questions about the connections between threat communication and a loss of trust in religious and political authorities, about the relevance of threat scenarios as possible indicators of social change, about communicative strategies of mobilization using threat scenarios, and about imagined forms of re-ordering.

F04: Colonial order as Threatened Order: the Sangley revolts and Spanish massacres in Manila (1603, 1639, 1662, 1686)

Principal investigators: Renate Dürr & Philipp Hahn

Project F04 examines Spanish colonial rule in the 17th century as a threatened system of order from a diachronic perspective based on the example of the four Sangley revolts in the Philippines (1603, 1639, 1662, 1686). On the one hand, questions will be asked as to how the Spanish administration succeeded in mobilizing very different groups for its campaign against the Chinese-origin Sangleys, how colonial rule in Manila changed as a result of relevant threat communication, and about the re-ordering processes that were established based on such communication. On the other hand, the project will analyse the role that translation processes played in the maintenance of long-distance rule with respect to the global dimension of threat communication.

F07: The struggle for international order. On the integration of affected population groups into the United Nations system

Principal investigators: Andreas Hasenclever & Jochen von Bernstorff

Project F07 investigates diplomatic and international legal strategies for the stabilization of national sovereignty claims within the United Nations system. In this context, the project asks  whether the new form of including directly affected population groups (so-called MAPs) in negotiation and decision-making processes serves more to counter global processes of institutionalization and demands for social participation, or whether they are part of an expansion and deepening of global governance and thus the re-hierarchization of political spaces.

F08: Solidarity and protection. Mobilising discourses and practices in refugee aid at the crossroads of national narratives of identity, personal value systems, and political activism

Principal investigator: Monique Scheer

Project F08 takes a diachronic approach to the self-image and identity narrative of German society as a threatened system of order in the aftermath of the “refugee crisis”. The project analyses how actors in refugee aid programs have dealt with the threats of nationalism and racism. In particular, it focuses on the interplay between protests and aid projects as places of mobilization, on the operationalization of the ideal of solidarity in everyday life, and on the effects of experiences of success and failure on re-ordering.

F09: The threatened order of the “globalized” world. Conceptions of globalization, political awakening and social debate in the USA, Great Britain, and the Federal Republic of Germany (1990s and 2000s)

Principal investigator: Jan Eckel

Project F09 addresses the emergence of the globalization discourse during the 1990s and early 2000s and takes a synchronous perspective to explore the question of how the discourse and its inherent notions of threatened orders shaped contemporary political perceptions and action in the USA, Great Britain, and Germany. The project focuses on the expansion of free trade promoted by the Clinton government and the World Trade Organization and opposed by the ‘anti-globalization movement’, as well as the reforms of social and labour market policies in both Great Britain and Germany.

Cluster G — Rreflection

Project area G deals with the interplay between reflections, diagnoses, and coping practices, and investigates the importance of identity in re-ordering. Diagnoses and coping practices impact the self-perception of actors regarding their systems of order. Accordingly this component project addresses questions of self-perception and self-reflection in different systems of order. Its goal is to identify unique elements among them as well as patterns of explanation, conceptions of order and reflexive strategies of re-ordering.


G01: Platonism and Christianity in late antiquity: literary strategies of threat communication in Porphyrios and Eusebios

Principal investigators: Volker Drecoll & Irmgard Männlein-Robert

Project G01 investigates the reciprocal threat and threat perception of two systems of order during the period of the Constantinian shift. Platonism and Christianity – previously examined in the first two funding phases using other sources – will be reconceptualised as holistic systems of order regarding the world, knowledge, and life, and the competition between these two systems will be analysed by focusing on the intellectuals Porphyrios and Eusebios as actors with far-reaching perceptions of threat.

G02: Spiritual women‘s communities in the 18th century. Conceptions of order and threat communication during the enlightenment and secularisation

Principal investigator: Sigrid Hirbodian

Project G02 deals with the increasing threat communication in spiritual women's communities since the middle of the 18th century. The project involves surveying groups of women from different social and religious orders about the transformation of older concepts of order and about updating older forms of threat communication.

G03: A genealogy of hybridity. The Threatened Orders of the multicultural Istrian peninsula (1970–2013)

Principal investigator: Reinhard Johler

Project G03 investigates the history of “hybridism”, a category of order first described by Austro-Hungarian researchers at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries using Istria as a model case (as described in the 2nd phase of funding). In the wake of the threatening disintegration of Yugoslavia, the regional order of the multilingual and multicultural peninsula has been redefined several times with reference to older experiences. Project G03 will develop a genealogy of hybridity based on the lessons of the Istrian laboratory.

G04: End of Empire. Re-ordering in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada (1960–1980)

Principal investigator: Ewald Frie

In the second phase of funding, Project G04 addressed the reinvention of the settler colonies Australia, New Zealand and Canada as nation states following the end of the British Empire. The project now turns to the conflict-laden implementation of the re-ordering in the late 1970s, when the oil crisis, the Vietnam war, and experiences with globalization seemed to deny the hopeful nation states the self-images that had been constructed in the early 1970s.

G05: Threatened but stable medical systems of knowledge. Ebola in West Africa and endangered orders of medicine (2013–2016)

Principal investigators: Henning Tümmers & Urban Wiesing

After dealing with AIDS (1st funding phase) and antibiotic resistances (2nd funding phase), Project G05 will use the third phase of funding to investigate the Ebola epidemic from 2013-2016, an episode that represented a much more dramatic and more contemporary threat to medical order, particularly with regards to threat communication and time constraints. On the basis of a comparative threat analysis, the project will develop parameters for stability and change in the medical order in the 20th and 21st centuries.

G06: Past Futures of threatened orders. Alternative racial orders in speculative fictions and realities in the U.S.

Principal investigators: Astrid Franke & Nicole Hirschfelder

In the third funding phase, Project G06 will continue to focus on the racial order in the U.S. by looking at  imagined alternative orders in fiction and utopian communities. These visions testify to the resistance to the existing order that can inform future mobilization and threat; they also fuel continuing attempts of re-ordering by keeping up the promise of a better order.

Science Communication / Outreach

OE: Experiences – expectations – results. Threatened Orders between scientific analysis and public discussion

Principal investigators: Christina Brüning, Bernd-Stefan Grewe & Reinhard Johler

Project Ö further advances the historization of crisis diagnoses – one of the CRC’s long-term goals – by anchoring the concept of transfer in the research design and research practices of the subprojects and of the CRC as a whole. In the third funding phase, Project Ö will work with CRC collaborators to develop a global exhibition to be held at twelve locations worldwide, and which will integrate and expand on the existing virtual exhibition. In addition, the project is developing a digital learning platform for teachers and students that transfers the CRC model to classrooms teaching history. Finally, the project will continue to ensure intensive interaction both within and outside of the research group through innovative formats as well as classical public relations work.