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Speaker and Discussants of the Inauguration Ceremony

Global Cooperation - the Centre Celebrates Its Inauguration

30.10.2012 In the presence of numerous guests from science, politics and civil society the inauguration of the tenth Käte Hamburger Kolleg was celebrated within the framework of a conference about “Chances for Global Cooperation in the 21st Century”. Supported for initial six years as a new international research collegium in the humanities by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, a new institution for international cutting-edge research on fundamental aspects of global cooperation is emerging. At the Centre for Global Cooperation Research specialists from all over the world will develop recommendations regarding central issues such as climate change, financial crisis, and protection of human rights.


„We are happy, that the application was successful against 20 proposals in the fourth round of selection”, said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Radtke, rector of the University of Duibsugr-Essen, in his welcome address. State Secretary Helmut Dockter emphasised the view of the North Rhine-Westphalian state government, that nowadays without the contribution of the humanities no development can be achieved. Ulrich Schüller confirmed as representative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research the funding volume of totally 13 Mio. Euros. The lion’s share of the budget will be used for the engagement of international fellows, who will do research and publish at the Centre.

The Centre add another dimension to the main research area "Transformation of Contemporary Societies” of the University of Duisburg-Essen and will contribute to the public discussion with the results of its interdisciplinary research. This was stressed by the director of the Centre Prof. Dr. Tobias Debiel, who is at the same time the head of the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) in Duisburg. Part of the board of directors is also Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie, head of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) and Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner, director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) in Bonn.

Mayor Sören Link, whom the Financial Times recently confirmed to have the most difficult job in the country, was delighted about the fresh internationality at Duisburg’s inner harbor. He also urged that “global knowledge manifests itself always at the local level”. Additional other contributions of the conference emphasized the necessity, to have the local circumstances in mind. But, as it seemed, especially therefore new strategies are urgently needed. With regard to the situation in Syria the orientalists and writer Navid Kermani reminded on what happens if global cooperation fails. Moreover, being asked about the global implications, Prof. Dr. Angelika Nußberger, judge at the European Court of Human Rights, pointed out that already the conditions in Europe leave little to be desired regarding complexity. Much interest aroused a keynote speech that didn’t come along very political in the first place. The psycholinguist and cognitive scientists Dr. Daniel Haun, who is researching at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig and Nijmegen, showed case studies with small children, that indicate that cooperative behavior is part of our nature and also makes us happy. Are we therefore cooperative?

Pictures of the ceremony can be found here

Martin Wolf
Head of Public Relations
Tel: +49 (0)203 379 5238