“Diversity Turn” in German Research Policy
“Diversity” seems to be the new rising paradigm within German research policies. Working in tandem with the already well diffused but equally ambiguous principle of “excellence”, diversity is seen as a means of ensuring international competitiveness in academic research. However, the establishment of Diversity Offices and “research-oriented equity and diversity standards” by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has been met with controversy in the academic community.
The roundtable aims to address these controversial issues by choosing the format of a cluster of excellence as a case study and exploring the following questions: how can diversity be realized within such a cluster? How do clusters of excellence balance diversity, excellence, and merit? How and where can lessons learned from comparable international contexts be applied to this format? If clusters serve as places for innovation for German academia, how can their knowledge be transferred to universities and scaled up to the system as a whole? The roundtable will provide a platform for a nuanced discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by the “diversity turn” in German research policy and its implications for academic excellence and inclusion.