Institute for Human Sciences

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Misha Glenny Rector

Acting Executive Director

Katharina Hasewend


The Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) is an independent institute for advanced study in humanities and social sciences. Since its foundation in 1982, it has promoted intellectual exchange between East and West, between academia and society, and between a variety of disciplines and schools of thought. In this way, IWM has become a vibrant center of intellectual life in Vienna.

In the early days, the Institute sought to reintegrate the ideas and experiences of Eastern Europe into Western debates. This goal remains of crucial importance even more than 25 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, as old and new boundaries between East and West continue to shape beliefs, attitudes and institutions. The Institute is now expanding its geographical area to include Central and Eastern Europe and North America, but also Asia and the Global South.

Looking beyond the confines of the academic world, the Institute is committed to broaching new and often contested topics of societal relevance, thus contributing to debates on a wide range of political, social, economic, and cultural issues. Accordingly, research at the IWM is closely related to the challenges. As a result, the Institute's work has an intellectual as well as a practical dimension: Research activities are designed to provide impetus for policy-oriented programs and vice versa.

The IWM is an association of permanent fellows, visiting fellows and junior visiting fellows. It hosts about 100 fellows and guests every year, including academics as well as journalists and translators from all over the world. They work on projects of their own choice within the Institute's research focus.