GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate


Bielefeld, Germany

Bielefeld University was founded in 1969 with an explicit research assignment and a mission to provide high-quality research-oriented teaching. Today it encompasses 13 faculties covering a broad spectrum of disciplines in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and technology. With about 20,000 students in 107 degree courses and 2,800 staff members (including approx. 1,600 academic staff) it is one of Germany's medium-sized universities.


The University's research profile pursues major scientifically and socially relevant themes, focusing primarily on the extremely productive interfaces between disciplines. In teaching as well, Bielefeld University stands out through its specific, transdisciplinary, and highly networked profile. All major rankings and evaluations confirm that Bielefeld has one of the best and most service-oriented university libraries in Germany.


The Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University was founded in 1969. It holds a unique position in the Federal Republic, because it is the only autonomous Faculty of Sociology in Germany. It is also one of the largest academic institutions for sociology in Europe (28 professors, associate professors, and junior professors). The Faculty in Bielefeld also integrates other subjects in the social sciences such as political science and social anthropology into its research and teaching contexts that are organized into working areas. Currently, the Faculty contains 10 working areas:

  • Theoretical Sociology
  • Methods
  • Organization
  • Society and Politics
  • Social Structure and Social Inequality
  • Transnationalization and Development
  • Science, Technology, Media
  • Gender
  • Didactics of the Social Sciences
  • Work and the Economy

The size and significance of the Faculty is also reflected in the research topics and the clusters of topics that have shaped its profile. In recent years, the topic of globality/global society has consolidated into an important focus of research. This brings together research on the theory of the global society, the globalization of social policy, migration, politics, and microstructures in the global society. This focus draws on the Faculty's own Institute ofr World Society Studies, in which members of other faculties also work, along with the closely cooperating Research Training Group RTG 844: World Society - Making and Representing the Global. A further focus of research is on analysing the role of science and the media in contemporary society (together with the IWT).The Faculty is also involved in projects at the IFF as well as the Collaborative Research Centre CRC 584: The Political as Communicative Space in History (SFB 584). The differentiated profile of research topics is also reflected in the remaining research specializations of the Faculty's working areas. These include research on the role of organizations in society, economic sociology and the sociology of work, and inequality studies. The Faculty completes its unique profile in Germany with two professorships each (and relevant research) in the didactics of the social sciences, methods of empirical social research, and sociological theory.