bringing into play the term culture in order to
make sense of developments since the end of the Cold War are usually working in the social
sciences. Culture has been a focus of research in the social sciences for a long time.
However, and saying this is not trivial at the present point, there is a whole group of
disciplines exclusively dedicated to culture: the humanities. Making use of the term
culture, social scientists usually rely on particular positions or schools within the
humanities. They do so implicitly or explicitly, but above all in a rather random fashion.
It is not always clear why a certain writer relies on a particular school within the
humanities rather than on another one.
The relationship between the humanities and the social sciences forms a long
and sometimes painful story. Among the recent episodes counts the reliance of the
humanities on the social sciences as a source of inspiration for working out methods of
interpretation or reading. Not all too
certain, as it appears, about their place and function in the present day world, the
humanities have developed the habit of walking in the second row after particular other
disciplines, be it the social sciences, be it management science or international trade. It may be warm and cosy there, but the humanities
may overlook the new task and responsibility which is theirs and in view of all the
experience, subtlety and patience in approaching cultural realities accumulated and
cultivated only by the humanities theirs alone: Rethinking, redefining, reinventing
the ways we understand culture in order to become capable of describing and adequately
responding to the cultural problems we are
facing today and will be facing even more in the future.
The process of globalisation
and the new problems and conflicts this process either is
producing or bringing to light, require a dramatic repositioning
of the humanities and a redefinition of their relation to
the social sciences.
Contributing to this task defines the research focus
of the CSGCD.