Institute of the Weltethos Foundation
at the University of Tübingen

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Cassandra Project

The team of the study “Early Crisis Detection through Literature Evaluation” headed by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wertheimer has been working since 2017 on making literary texts usable as prognosis instruments in the field of violence prevention. The study is based on the assumption that literary texts refer to intra-societal fault lines and moments of danger at a very early stage – often years before violent acts occur.

The Project Team: Isabelle Holz, Prof. Dr. Wertheimer, Florian Rogge

The “Project Cassandra” is a result of this cooperation between The Federal Ministry of Defense and the Global Ethic Institute for early crisis detection and violence prevention. It analyzes the literature of crisis-prone regions with practice-related questions. In 2019, the focus was on the regions of Nigeria, Maghreb/Algeria and Kosovo as well as Georgia/Armenia.

Recognizing crises through literature?

By means of a conflict-focused text and reception analysis, a “mood picture”, an emotion map, of the respective focus region can be created. The idea behind this is to make visible the characteristics of those parameters that control conflict-tinged behaviour of groups – consciously or unconsciously. The focus is on working out socially relevant topics, the question of changing narrative structures, new identity constructions, reference stories, the analysis of reception spaces, the emotional Befindlichkeiten etc. In this way, the potential for violence, for example through the increased production and reception of “destructive” texts, can be recognized early on. The aim of the project is to identify these very potentials for violence at an early stage and to assess their dynamics.