The Sigmund Neumann Institute

The Sigmund Neumann Institute for the research on Freedom and Democracy promotes the scientific study of freedom traditions in Europe and in the U.S.A. and ascertains its promotion through the research of freedom inhibiting factors of the past history and of the present.

Bearing this context in mind, the Institute examines the effect of those factors on personal and social areas. In addition to the legal, historical, social, political and cultural studies performed in this field, the Institute also promotes research in the specific fields of religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities. The observation and assessment of concrete situations of religious freedom in the world – including the analysis of the coping services and their critics, taking into account the compliance to the legal practices – are among the areas of research supported by this Institute.


July 2017

  • Katarzyna Stokłosa participated in the Forum Democracy of Phoenix Television, Germany, on the topic: “The World in Chaos – Europe looks for her Place”. Other participants of the round table: Günter Verheugen (European Commissioner for Enlargement from 1999 to 2004), Brendan Peter Simms (Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge) and Manfred Görtemaker (Potsdam University). The full broadcast can be watched here (in German).

June 2017

  • Katarzyna Stokłosa participated in the discussion "Cuadriga - La tertulia internacional" at Deutsche Welle in Berlin. The full broadcast under the topic "Macron y May: ¿oportunidad para Europa?" can be watched here (in Spanish).

May 2017

  • Cambridge Scholar Publishing has issued a web post about Gerhard Besier as a part of their "Meet our authors" series. The post can be read here and includes a limited offer on the book "Jehovah's Witnesses in Europe: Past and Present", edited by Gerhard Besier and Katarzyna Stokłosa.

January 2017

  • SNI Annual Report for 2016:Find out about our activities and publications during the last year. Please click here to download the Annual Report for 2016.

November 2016

  • The latest publication edited by Gerhard Besier and Katarzyna Stokłosa, Neighbourhood Perceptions of the Ukraine Crisis: From the Soviet Union into Eurasia?, has been published by Routledge and can be ordered here. With this flyer you will get a 20% discount on the book!

Full Cover

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

  • SNI Annual Report 2015: Find out about our activities and publications during the last year. Please click here to download the Annual Report for 2015.
  • Release of the English version of "Jehovah's Witnesses in Europe. Past and Present Volume 1 Part 1/1 and 1/2" by Prof. Stoklosa and Prof. Besier, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Find more information and the possibility to buy the volume on the publisher's Website.


  • Release of the Book "Intimately Associated for Many Years," two parts, by Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Besier. For more information on the title, please see the flyerYou can purchase the book online, at Cambridge Scholars Publishing - Part One and Part Two.


  • Publication of the journal "Zum Bibel- und Weltverständnis christlicher Religionen. The Bible and the World. Perspectives among major and minor religions" (Series: Religion - Staat - Gesellschaft. Zeitschrift für Glaubensformen und Weltanschauungen / Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews, Issue 2015/1 and 2, LIT-Verlag). For more information, click here.



June 2015

The book European Dictatorships: A Comparative History of the Twentieth Century has been selected to be showcased among June "Best Sellers", in the online campaign. Please, follow the link for furhter information.

February 2015

The book "Neither Good nor Bad. Why Human Beings Behave How They Do" has been selected to be showcased in the monthly "Recommended Reads" online campaign. Please click here for further information.

October 2014

Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Besier and Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Stoklosa are visiting professors in the Europe Center at Stanford University.

July 2014 

Release of the book "Neither Good nor Bad. Why Human Beings Behave How They Do".

April 2014

Steht die Annexion durch Russland bevor? Interview with Prof. Katarzyna Stoklosa in German.

March 2014

  • Symposium: The Great War and Culture

The symposium will take place at the Notre Dame London Centre on March 20-23, 2014. The symposium will focus on new perspectives about the cultural and intellectual aftermath of World War I. For more information please have a look at the detailed program.

  • Conference

A conference was taking place between March 7-8, organized by the Evangelical Church of the Rhineland.
"100 Years First World War - Commemorative Cultures and unresolved Conflicts in Europe"

  • Lecture

Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gerhard Besier was giving a lecture about "The Role of the European Churches Before and During the War".
For more information about the conference please have a look at the detailed program of the conference (in German).

January 2014

Release of the book "European Border Regions in Comparison: Overcoming Nationalistic Aspects or Re-Nationalization?"
Edited by Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Stokłosa and Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Besier.

For further information, please see the flyer or order the book online at Routledge.

                                                              European Border Regions in Comparison

December 2013

Read a review released in Zicht 2013-4 Gemeenteraadsverkiezingen of "Religious Freedom and State-Church-Relations in Europe and the USA"
Gerhard Besier und Hubert Seiwert (eds.) in 
Religion - Staat - Gesellschaft. Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews. 14. Volume (2013), No. 1, LIT Verlag.

                                                            RSG 14. Jh 2013

The 100th birthday of Willy Brandt: German Article - Berliner Zeitung 18th December 2013

Release of the book "European Dictatorships - A Comparative History of the Twentieth Century".
by Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Besier und Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Stokłosa.

For further information, please see the flyer or order the book online at CSP.

                                                                 European Dictatorships


September 2013

IV EUGEO Congress in Rome: Europe, what's next? Changing geographies and geographies of change, September 5-7, 2013.

Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Stokłosa and Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h. c. Gerhard Besier participate in the meeting under the topic "Beyond Fortress Europe? Bordering and Cross Bordering Processes along the EU's External Frontiers" with the specific topic "Polish Eastern Border from the End of the Second World War until Today".

June 2013

Review of “Permanent Revolution” from Patrick Stellbrink, in the Portal für Politikwissenchaft


April 2013

The Institute is moving! The new office can be found in Chemnitz Str. 48. If you have difficulty reaching us by phone or post, please contact us by e-mail to institut[at]

March 2012

Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Stokłosa received a professorship position at the University of Southern Denmark in Sønderborg. Her position focuses on Border Region Studies. Prof. Dr. Stokłosa will maintain her position of visiting scientist to the Department of European Studies. She will also maintain her responsibilities in the Sigmund Neumann Institute for the research on Freedom and Democracy.

February 2012

Prof. Dr. Katarzyna Stokłosa receives the Research Award from the University of Southern Denmark Sønderborg. For her research achievements in the years 2010/2011. Katarzyna Stoklosa was awarded with the amount of 50,000 Kronor given by the BHJ-Fund Research Award of the University of Southern Denmark. The prize money will allow the pursuing of further research.


September 2011

German-Polish conference in Kreisau – September 15-17, 2011.
See the program of the conference in German 

October 2010

International Conference: The World towards "Solidarity" Movement 1980 – 1989, Wrocław, October 21-23, 2010.
See the program of the conference here.

October 18, 2010 - January 21, 2011: Series of lectures "20 Jahre neue Bundesrepublik. Kontinuitäten und Diskontinuitäten."
See further information here.

February 2010

February 9-23, 2010: Exhibition "Im Objektiv des Feindes. Die deutschen Bildberichterstatter im besetzten Warschau 1939-1945." (In the lens of the enemy. The German press photographer in occupied Warsaw 1939 – 1945.)
See further information here.

January 2010

January 27, 2010, 19.00: Lecture "Was ist geworden", Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Sachsen
See further information here.

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