The Max Weber Foundation

The Max Weber Foundation is the largest humanities research organization whose institutes are based exclusively abroad.

picture-alliance/dpa - Border-Crossing
picture-alliance/dpa - Border-Crossing

Politics means boring hard boards “with passion and a sense of proportion”, once wrote the sociologist Max Weber. Anyone who today would help direct more attention and opportunities to the humanities and social sciences sometimes needs just as much passion and sense of proportion. This is exactly what the Max Weber Foundation does, quite deliberately in the name of the man who shaped sociology and the other social sciences, the cultural sciences, jurisprudence and economics. Max Weber was a border-crosser between disciplines who made internationally recognized contributions to important questions of social theory.

Internationalism is also the central concern of the Max Weber Foundation, founded in 2002. In its ten institutes around the world, researchers explore historical and cultural phenomena and contexts and discuss their work in exchange with practitioners and the public. The foundation’s institutes include the German Forum for Art History in Paris and the German Historical Institutes in London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, Warsaw and Washington, the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo and the Orient Institutes in Beirut and Istanbul. The foundation is the largest humanities research organization whose institutes are based exclusively abroad. With an annual budget of 36 million euros, it is one of the ten largest German foundations under public law.

Max Weber, born 1864 in Erfurt, liked to cross disciplinary boundaries and expand his perspective through personal observations outside Germany. This made possible for him his nuanced view of his own culture and society, the same kind of view that today also determines the work of the researchers at the institutes which bear his name.

World Science Day, 10 November