The Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) is an independent institute for advanced study in the 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, the IWM has become a vibrant center of intellectual life in Vienna.
In the early days, the Institute primarily sought to reintegrate the ideas and experiences of Eastern Europe into Western debates following decades of isolation. 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. Under Shalini Randeria, who took over as IWM Rector in 2015, the Institute is now expanding its geographical purview to include not only Central and Eastern Europe and North America, but also Asia and the Global South.