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Norbert Elias

The Norbert Elias Foundation was established in 1983 on the initiative of Norbert Elias himself. He had no close relatives and decided that his estate should, therefore, be used to stimulate research in the social sciences, especially in light of his own broad vision. When Elias died on 1 August 1990, the Foundation was his sole legatee, thereby inheriting the copyrights on his published works and unpublished manuscripts.

The mission of the Foundation is to preserve the memory of Norbert Elias and to promote research in the field of human sciences, especially sociology and social history, but as well all sciences of humankind, “for which no Nobel Prize is awarded.” Elias emphasized especially the support of young scientists who have “their own opinions and be critical to the work of the founder.”

To this end, the Foundation supports scientific conferences, publications, awards scholarships and scientific prizes. We support the dissemination of his work, over the last years more and more on a global scale, and function as a hub for those people worldwide who are interested in “figurational research” or “process sociology”.

The Norbert Elias Foundation aims to promote the work of Norbert Elias and develop the figurational or process sociology that is associated with his name.

Accordingly, our core objectives are to:

  • Act as custodians and stewards of Norbert Elias’s estate
  • Bring the work of Elias to a broader audience globally
  • Encourage and promote scholarship that builds upon Elias’s sociological legacy, both through the investigation of Eliasian problems and concerns and/or through developing and extending work that is relational, processual and synthetic in its orientation.
  • Support and advance emerging scholars engaging with Elias’s work
  • Assisting, recognising and celebrating the work of key Eliasian researchers
  • Foster closer integration of the international community of scholars engaging with Elias