Institute for Social Research

Institute for Social Research Hamburg

Hamburg Institute for Social Research

Founded in 1984, the publicly owned institute conducts research into contemporary history and the social sciences.

Hamburg Institute for Social Research

The Hamburg Institute for Social Research (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung) carries out social research, and organises workshops and conferences relating to the field. Research, conferences and workshops are often organised in close collaboration with other German and European institutes, and supported with external funding.


Research groups work on projects such as ‘Democracy and Statehood’, ‘Post War Periods’ and ‘Macro-Violence’. ‘Democracy and Statehood’ is a newly-established project that examines conditions for the formation and functioning of modern democracies. Studies focus on particular regions on Europe’s southern periphery and take on a comparative perspective, always taking into account recent political developments in Europe.  

The ‘Postwar Periods’ research group is concerned with the correlation of democracy and violence. It asks how societies create stable societies after periods of mass violence. In particular, this research group looks at social experiments, where violence is used to introduce a certain ideology to the people. Finally, the ‘Macro-Violence’ research group investigates and analyses how violence has an impact entire social and political systems. Studies will focus on many different regions and apply various approaches and methods.

Publications and Library

The Hamburg Institute for Social Research also publishes 'Mittelweg 36' from its own publishing house: a bi-monthly journal which follows ongoing projects at the institute, and has both an academic and non-academic readership. The Institute also houses a library and archive, with over 45,000 pieces of printed and online media. Especially well represented is media relating to conflicts, ranging from World wars to the Middle East conflict, and social welfare states.

For more information, please visit the official website.