Knowledge Network on Racism Research (WinRa)

Taking decisive action against racism and right-wing extremism and promoting, expanding, and anchoring research on these topics in the university landscape - the importance of these topics has been demonstrated not least by the terror attacks in Hanau and Halle. Racist violence is booming in Germany; it manifests itself structurally and institutionally.

Against this background, the Knowledge Network on Racism Research (WinRa) strategically strengthens and connects the scattered and fragmented research on racism in Germany through a research-based and interdisciplinary exchange.

Content and methodology play a central role in the knowledge network. We will develop strategies for expanding the research infrastructure for racism research and be available as a point of contact for politics, civil society, the media, and the public.

The Knowledge Network on Racism Research is designed as a joint project. In addition to overall coordination and management at the DeZIM Institute in Berlin, WinRa consists of four regional networks. These are established at the University of Bielefeld/Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Network West), the University of Mannheim/University of Bayreuth (Network South), Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences/ Humboldt University of Berlin (Network East) and Bucerius Law School Hamburg/University of Hamburg (Network North).

WinRa is funded for a period of five years as part of the "Current and historical dynamics of right-wing extremism and racism" funding guideline of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and pursues the following overall objectives, among others:

  • Networking and strengthening existing racism research across all disciplines and establishing the topic of racism in the individual disciplines as a central lens through which gaps and desiderata should be identified.
  • Building a network between research projects and junior research groups funded within the BMBF's funding guidelines framework.
  • Regional strengthening and monitoring of interdisciplinary research and teaching contexts for new impulses at the universities and the respective disciplines; strengthening and integrating the promotion of young talent.
  •  Foster exchange with right-wing extremism and antisemitism research as well as integration, migration, and refugee research.

To achieve these goals, a systematic and disciplinary inventory of racism research in Germany will be undertaken. Through this, we will identify development perspectives and recommendations for action for building a suitable research infrastructure, as well as possibilities for developing a structure on this ground.

In addition, WinRa contributes to a more thorough reflection on racism research as a practice, supports the discussion about the self-image of the research field, and defines it more precisely concerning ethics, methodology, and practice transfer.

WinRa also endeavors to systematically involve civil society actors and community-based research throughout the entire duration of the project and to network with partners and institutions both nationally and internationally.