ZU´s research landscape is based on research areas and traditions that have been cultivated for a long time. The main research areas developed so far can be condensed into three strategic research lines that will constitute the guidelines of cooperative research at ZU in the coming years:
| Complex Freedom
| Risky Innovation
| Transformative Cultural Production
These three integrative subject areas are framed by two main topics which result from the two fundamental transformations that characterize current and future social developments: On the one hand there is the critical analysis of the results of advancing globalization, and on the other hand the study of digitalization that is penetrating all areas of everyday life.
Research Landscape at ZU | Fall 2016
Both developments are leading to the challenges of a globally linked world in which the topics freedom, innovation, and culture are obviously highly relevant and thus will now be studied in a highly specific way and with a new focus in the context that is possible for ZU. The issue is no longer freedom as a general political demand, but rather the specific options and risks of a multi-dimensional concept of freedom in a politically, economically, and culturally multi-layered system which excludes any simple model or solution. The issue is no longer innovation as a general economic driver, but rather and more specifically the risks of a global civilization that necessarily go hand in hand with disruptive innovations, and which can for example be seen in the global financial system, especially the systemic risks. And the issue is no longer culture as a symbol or value system, but rather the specific determination of options, variations, and challenges that are the result of cultural change in a multipolar and multicultural world. A number of research fields that are intensively dealt with at ZU, both individually and in cooperations in centers and third-party funded associated projects, are connected to these three research lines in various ways.