Research Focus

The International Max Planck Research School for Moral Economies of Modern Societies (IMPRS Moral Economies) investigates the values, emotions, and habits that informed and inspired modern social formations. The focus lies particularly on Europe, North America, and South Asia from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.
Societies are by no means monolithic systems following a single moral principle or rule. Ideas about what is just, fair, or moral are highly volatile and debated between social classes, communities, institutions, or between men and women. How did moral hierarchies develop, prioritizing certain norms and values? How do moral values shape human interaction, the formation of social groups and political developments? And what does this reveal about mechanisms of power and power relations? These are some of the questions that the IMPRS Moral Economies seeks to explore.

The projects of the doctoral candidates trace and analyze the origins of moral values and the sources on which they draw in the economic, social, political and cultural spheres. Research on modern moral economies also focusses on the ways in which values and emotions reinforce or contradict each other in modern societies. This complex relationship is studied on the level of major ideas and concepts, as well as on the level of social interaction and institutional settings.

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