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An animation of Rosa Luxemburg with a red hammer.
This page is still under construction! We are working to constantly expand the glossary. There are always several ways to understand the terms listed here - Therefore, our suggestions are not meant to be the final truth, but to provide a general understanding when reading the articles.





Ableism is used to describe the disadvantage, oppression, unequal treatment, or generally discrimination of people with disabilities. It can be found i.e. in the lack of accessibility of public places for people with disabilities.






This term refers to people who are not from marginalized groups, and who actively participate in political struggles to advance the interests of marginalized groups.

In this case, it is important that the person is aware of their own privilege (i.e. social advantages) and addresses these, for instance by recognizing instances of casual racism.


Anti-Muslim Racism

This term relates to the denigration of Islam and discrimination of Muslims.

People who do not identify as Muslim can also experience anti-Muslim racism, since they can be categorized as Muslims due to their name, or to the origin that other people attribute to them.




Anti-racism refers to the fight against racism. In Germany, anti-racism developed into an important political field of left-wing organizing, especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The anti-racist movement includes heterogeneous actors, theories and practices and overlaps with the struggles of antifa, refugee movement, migrant self-organization and institutional anti-discrimination. An important example is the network "Kein Mensch ist illegal".









The term antisemitism encompasses individual, institutional, and structural discrimination and/or violence against people of the Jewish faith, and against people and institutions labelled as Jewish.


Anti-romani sentiment

Anti-romani sentiment or Antiziganism is a form of racism that is directed against Sinti and Roma people. It goes back to a 500-year history of exclusion and discrimination in Europe, which had a "racial-biological" dimension in the course of eugenic sciences. This finally led to the attempt of the industrial extermination of the Sinti and Roma during fascist rule in Germany. The Sinti and Roma are still fighting today for the remembrance of this history, for reparations and generally against their continuing social stigmatization and exclusion. More on this topic here.


This term represents the opposite of enculturation, namely the adaptation of a person or groups of people to a foreign culture that can be found in a (new) place. An example for this is can be the migration to another country.



Apartheid means the segregation of people into racial groups. The term generally refers to a period of history in South Africa when the white population implemented segregation and took total control of resources, political participation, and power. Simultaneously, the Black African population endured systematic, brutal discrimination, and were excluded from all social, cultural, social, cultural, economic, and political spaces and entities.

Today, the term apartheid is also used in some world regions to describe contexts involving conflict, colonialism, and occupation where conflict is perpetrated for racist and religious reasons and is exclusively and violently expressed against displaced, non-dominant populations.






When enacting foreign policies, governments face a choice between bilateralism and multilateralism. Bilateralism means coordination with another single country whereas multilateralism is coordination among more than three countries.



The abbreviation BIPoC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in English. This phrase was self-chosen by people who are affected by racism and who are not white and is meant to highlight the diversity of non-white people.






BLM - Black Lives Matter

BLM is an international movement originating in the USA that is fighting against discrimination towards Black people (especially by the police) and demanding rights. It criticizes practices such as racial profiling and racist police violence. A central demand of this movement is "Defund the Police", i.e. systematic budget cuts for the police and ultimately their dissolution. The murder of George Floyd by a police officer in May 2020 received worldwide attention, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets under the hashtag #BLM.







The word bureaucracy refers to the legal administrative apparatus that enables state control. This apparatus follows specific rules and established procedures. In bureaucracy, there are certain responsibilities, official channels, and regulations for all organizational tasks. Common criticisms of bureaucracy are that processes are overly complex and lack transparency, that it is prone to corruption, and that bureaucracy creates obstacles for people rather than serving their interests.







Capitalism refers to a social order based on private property of the means of production. Here, goods and services are produced by private companies and sold on the market, i.e. for money. The aim is to maximize profits. Under capitalism, anyone who does not own the means of production must find a job, i.e. sell their own labor to the companies. In return, people receive a wage, which represents costs for the company that should be as low as possible. Competition between companies and between people who need a job are essential features of capitalism.


Care Work

Care work refers to the work of caring and looking after others. This can include many things such as nursing, housework, care work, voluntary work, being there for friends, family, etc. It is work that has historically mostly been done by women and still is. The term comes from the feminist movement. It ties in with the idea that unpaid work is necessary to maintain the workforce. In order for people to be physically and mentally fit enough to do paid work, they have to eat, look after themselves, etc. This requires care work. This requires care work. This care work is often unpaid or poorly paid and is not made visible, although it is necessary for society to function.

Centre-Periphery Model

The centre-periphery (or core-periphery) model describes and attempts to explain the structural relationship between the advanced or metropolitan 'centre' and a less developed 'periphery', either within a particular country, or (more commonly) as applied to the relationship between capitalist and developing societies.


A cis person is someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.


Circular Migration

Circular migration describes the repeated act of migrating to another country for a temporary stay. An individual may migrate for a number of months to a destination country in order to work, before traveling back to their country of origin or nationality, taking a break, and then returning to the destination country again.


Civilizing means implementing progressive living conditions and socially acceptable behaviour. The civilizing mission is a rationale for military intervention and for colonization proposing to facilitate the Westernization of indigenous peoples, especially in the period from the 15th to the 20th centuries.


Classism, also referred to as class discrimination, is discrimination on the basis of an actual or assumed social background or affiliation. Classism leads to devaluation and degradation by ascribing to people negatively connoted attributes that are considered to be less valuable socially. Through classism, members of a social group distance themselves from those whom they consider to be inferior.

Climate Crisis / Climate Catastrophe

The climate crisis is a consequence of global warming. It is caused by greenhouse gas emissions (primarily carbon dioxide). These are mostly caused by the burning of coal, gas and oil. Global warming leads to rising sea levels, storms, floods, droughts and forest fires. As a result, animals, plants and people are severely threatened. In particular, people who are responsible for the fewest greenhouse gases have to reckon with particularly severe consequences (in the Global South). The warmer it gets, the faster and more strongly the weather changes. Historically, the Global North has been more to blame for the climate crisis. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)


Climate neutrality

Climate neutrality is the idea that no more greenhouse gases are emitted than are absorbed (e.g. in forests, the earth, the ocean, etc.). This means that humans would no longer have any influence on the climate. However, many reservoirs for greenhouse gases that have existed for millions of years have already been destroyed and are still being destroyed. As these cannot be easily restored, it is questionable how realistic this scenario is.



Anything that people find, grow or make that is then bought, sold or traded and then typically made into a good to satisfy wants or needs.



This concept refers to the idea of an egalitarian, free society. In communism, all class differences have been abolished, the mode of production is in the hands of all people, and all the needs of the population are satisfied.

Comparative cost advantage

Comparative advantage is an economy’s ability to produce a particular good or service at a lower opportunity cost (the potential benefit a business or investor or individual misses out on when choosing one alternative over the other). Comparative advantage is used to explain why companies, countries or individuals can benefit from trade. Comparative advantage suggests that countries will engage in trade with one another, exporting the goods that they have a relative advantage in. The negative impact of focusing on comparative advantages is the exploitation of labour and natural resources. The law of comparative advantage was created by English political economic David Ricardo in his book 'On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation', which he wrote in 1817.


The constitution is the central legal document and the highest legal standard applying generally to a state or region. It usually summarizes the organizational structure of the state or region, and broadly describes state institutions and their rights. Constitutions also often lay out basic constitutional rights for all people living in the region. Generally, all secondary laws and legal standards must not contradict the constitution. The constitution in Germany is called the Basic Law.Grundgesetz. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)[2] (external link, opens in a new window)

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories may include statements about secret powers that apparently pull strings in the background, or narratives that suggest that social events, political processes, or environmental disasters are caused by the machinations of dark powers. Conspiracy theories are expressed on social media, in schools, and in workplaces, but also within circles of friends or family members. More on this topic here.

Contract Workers

From the 1960s, the GDR signed agreements for the education and employment of labourers with Hungary, Poland, Algeria, Cuba, Mozambique, and Vietnam. It did so in order to alleviate its labour shortage with workers from other countries. The labour often involved physically taxing and monotonous tasks, while contract workers were housed in accommodation that was isolated from the rest of the population and their restricted residency permits were tied to their jobs. Contract workers were threatened with deportation if they did not comply with their employment obligations and tasks, which exacerbated their social exclusion. After the reunification of Germany, many contract workers lost their jobs and therefore their residency permits, which for many of them meant deportation.


Convivialism puts forward ideas for living together for a sustainable future - there are the principles of common humanity, common sociality, legitimate individuation and conflict control. The concept originated in the 19th century in France. Convivialité (from the Latin con-vivere: to live together) is quite common in French today and has also established itself in English as a common foreign word and, more recently, as a technical term in discussions about living together in immigrant societies. Convivality basically refers to cooperation and tools that transform and promote the relationship between people.


Cooperatives are self-organized businesses and companies that are the shared property of all cooperative members. Well-known examples for extensive networks of cooperative businesses, including for production, consumption, and housing, include Mondragon Corporation in the Basque country in Spain, and Cooperation Jackson in the US-American state of Mississippi.

(Socio-Ecological) Crisis

A crisis is a very challenging situation or even dangerous for those affected. An existing system no longer works and this disruption becomes so massive that we call it a crisis. A crisis can be a turning point for a solution to the problem. But if it continues, it can also escalate into a catastrophe.
In this context, I socio-ecological crisis means: there are massive problems in important areas of a society or societies, such as poverty, homelessness or injustice. At the same time, there are massive problems in the ecosystems in which we live. These two crises are connected and reinforce each other.


Critical Whiteness

Critical whiteness is a category of critical racism research and examines the construction of whiteness. Being white is something that is made by society as an invisible norm. By examining whiteness as a social construct it becomes visible - only then we can discuss and change it.






Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation describes the counter-appropriation of language, culture, clothing/fashion, etc. of a marginalized group by people who belong to a dominant, privileged group. A commonly cited example of cultural appropriation is when white people wear cornrows or braids. In this way, forms of resistance expressed in cultural practices can be made invisible. The line between appreciative cultural participation and harmful cultural disposession is blurred and fiercely discussed in anti-racist debates.








The process of removing or reducing state regulations in the economic sphere, especially the ones imposed on markets. Its aim is to increase competition in the market and bring down prices for consumers. It was promoted from the 1970s onward from supporters of neoliberalism.

“Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen”—Expropriating Apartments Owned by Corporate Landlords in Berlin

With a wide network of supporters across Germany and a campaign that shares its name, the "Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen" initiative calls for housing stocks owned by private landlords in Berlin to be socialized. It proposes that all housing belonging to corporate landlords who each own more than 3,000 apartments in the city should be transferred to public service ownership via a special legal structure. A public referendum was held in Berlin in September 2021, with 59.1 percent of eligible voters saying yes to the expropriation of big corporate landlords. Following the referendum vote, the Berlin state parliament was tasked with passing a law to socialize apartments owned by corporate landlords.

Developing Countries

“Developing countries” is a term used to refer to countries in which lower or very low living standards are the norm, and which also have high levels of illiteracy (people who cannot read or write) and unemployment, low levels of capital, and poor social infrastructure. However, classifying countries as “developing” or “industrial” is highly controversial. 

Development Policy

This concept commonly refers to all activities that aim at improving the economic, societal, social, or technical areas of a given country. This generally includes long-term and overarching developmental and political goals, such as to end poverty. While in the past, the term “development aid” was used, today, this concept has been replaced with the term “development cooperation” in many discourses, although this, too, has led to many discussions and has been rejected by many in the field of development policy. Unlike the word “aid”, in this context, the word “cooperation” should signal that developmental measures are formulated through equal partnership and cooperation between so-called “donor” and recipient countries.

Alongside a fundamental debate about how development and progress are defined—and above all, who defines them—criticisms of development policy highlight the intensifying dependency of recipient countries on "donor" countries, the misappropriation of funds, and not least the role played by the internal economic interests of “donor” countries. Additionally, the notion of development policy may awaken false illusions. This is because lower living standards in poorer countries are not necessarily due to a lack of development, but to processes of exploitation by richer countries that go hand-in-hand with multiple forms of racism.


The word “diaspora” comes from an ancient Greek word meaning "to scatter about." For a long time, the term referred to the displacement of Jewish people following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Today, it applies to all people who come from, or whose ancestors came from, a certain country or region, but who now live or are living in different places in the world. . It therefore includes the experiences of other ethnic and religious groups who live in, organize, or build diasporic communities. The term diaspora is closely related to the concept of exile and has a different notion of home and foreign than, for example, the concept of (post)migration, which focuses more on transnational movement and hybridization experiences and makes a universal claim to belonging.



Didactics, or the didactic method, is the science of teaching and learning. Among other things, didactics is concerned with the influence of the teacher on the learning process, the importance of the teaching content, and the goals to be achieved. Didactics addresses these questions in a scientific manner, developing theories, models, and approaches to connect the key concerns mentioned above.



Discrimination is the disadvantaging of people on the basis of a certain characteristic that cannot be changed or cannot be changed easily. This characteristic can be real or ascribed. It serves to classify people into a social category (e.g. gender, origin, disability or other). This social category is subject to social power relations. Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Forms of discrimination include, for example, sexism, racism, ableism, classism, anti-romani sentiment, anti-Semitism, homophobia/queerphobia and others.


Diversification is the expansion of exports and the pursuit of economic growth through targeted integration into the global market. The primary aim of diversification is to overcome the dependence on just one or a few export products typical of many developing countries and the associated price fluctuations on the world market. The expansion of the export range is focused on products with comparative cost advantages over competing suppliers on the world market.





Emancipation is understood to be an act or process of self-liberation—for example, when a group that experiences disadvantage due to race, class, or gender demands and enforces equality or equal treatment. In many ways, the concept of emancipation is related to the concept of self-empowerment, which also works towards self-liberation as a goal.



For people who may constantly experience discrimination, empowerment is important! It refers to shedding a sense of powerlessness and replacing it with self-empowerment for the benefit of one’s own mental health. Empowerment can take place through exchange in the form of a group conversation between people who share similar experiences.



Eurocentrism refers to a European-focused worldview where European values, perspectives, and standards are the norm and set a benchmark with which non-European perspectives, cultures, and standards are compared. Through this lens, the European mindset is upheld as being “right” and universally valid because it is equated with social progress. For example, knowledge in non-European countries and cultures is viewed as needing to be “modernized” and replaced. This means that Eurocentrism contributes to the colonial oppression and exploitation of non-European people and countries.


The possibility of using expropriation to serve the common good is enshrined in Article 14 of the German Basic Law. Over the course of the late 18th and 19th centuries, this Article was applied in particular to property in order to facilitate infrastructural projects that served the economic drive for profit. For example, homeowners have been expropriated in order to build highways; entire towns have been expropriated in order to mine brown coal in their place. However, Article 15 of the Basic Law envisages an alternative form of property rights and the rights of disposition. According to this law, through socialization, private propertycould be transformed into common property or “other forms of common economy” and thereby again be made available to the general public (for example housing→ Deutsche Wohnen & Co. Enteignen). Since its introduction in 1949, Article 15 of the Basic Law has not yet been successfully applied.



Extractivism is a process in which natural resources are extracted from the earth and then sold as goods on the global market. This type of economic development is carried out by large international companies and states and dates back to the European colonial era more than 500 years ago. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)





Feminists work to achieve gender equality and fight against sexism. Some genders are denigrated and discriminated against in the labour market, through the economy, in relationships, and on many other levels. This means that there is not just one type of feminism; feminists fight against many different forms of oppression in various ways.






The killing of women or girls due to a deep-seated hatred of women is called femicide or feminicide. Targets include both women and individuals who do not self-identify as female, but are perceived as such. In Spanish as in English, the term femicide (femicidio) can be misunderstood as being analogous to the term homocide (homicidio), i.e. to refer to any killing of a woman. This is why some prefer to use the term feminicide to refer specifically to the violent death of women, and of people who are perceived as female, who are murdered due to their general devaluation in an escalated form of a broader range of gender-related forms of violence against women. [1] (external link, opens in a new window) [2]


Food Sovereignty

The food sovereignty movement promotes the human right to food and seeks to increase the participation of civil society in this process. When food sovereignty is achieved, everyone has the right to food, and food does not have to be a normal commodity. Food providers should be valued, respected and protected, and food systems should be localized. In addition, local providers should sustainably manage food sources and oppose the privatization of natural resources. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)


Free Trade

A trade policy by which a government does not restrict imports and exports. However it does not mean that a country abandons all control and taxation of imports and exports. Free trade theory is based on Adam Smith’s work where he says that the division of labour among countries leads to specialization, greater efficiency, and higher aggregate production. (Opposite: Protectionism)





Gender describes a social phenomenon that is felt, experienced, and lived; its role in everyday life is also made apparent on the basis of ascribed characteristics. Expressing gender in biological terms, however, is problematic, because this only leads to a medical categorization as either female or male, meaning that the non-binary- or trans people are not accounted for.


Gender Dysphoria

This concept describes the “feeling of strangeness” that non-binary non-binary and transpeople experience when they cannot identify with specific characteristics of their bodies, and have the need to change or adapt their physical form to align with their experienced gender. This can mean that they grow out their hair, changing their style of dress, or choosing to take surgical measures.



Genocide refers to the intentional destruction of a people. The term genocide is used to refer to the extermination, or planned extermination, of a people or entire groups of peoples of a specific ethnic identity or religion.


Global Justice

In contrast to global injustice, global justice aims to achieve a fair distribution of resources, rights and opportunities worldwide. The aim is for people to be able to live a good life according to their needs. Global justice therefore calls for these needs to be taken seriously, as well as an examination of distribution issues, power and violence relations within countries, between countries and regions. The question of how global justice can be achieved must therefore take into account values and norms, forms of cooperation as well as organizational methods and institutions. Debates on global justice therefore focus on crises and grievances that prevent global justice - including the climate crisis and, with it, the question of our relationship with nature.


Global Injustice

Global injustice describes the fact that it is easier or very difficult to live a good life in some regions of the world. It is no coincidence that this is the case. It is the result of processes of violence and exploitation. It is the result of political and economic structures that disadvantage some regions. In particular, global injustice refers to differences in living conditions in the Global North and the Global South.

Global North/ Global South

The term Global North refers to countries that have more power and advantages in the global economic order than other countries, which we refer to as the Global South. In most cases, these lines run parallel to the lines of former colonizers and former colonies. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)


Grassroots Democracy

The aim of grassroots democracy is to give the members of a society or social group, such as the citizens of a state, direct decision-making power. In contrast, most countries have a representative democracy in which elected representatives decide political issues. In a grassroots democratic structure, individuals with equal rights make decisions directly, often using the principle of consensus, where all members must agree. This serves to prevent the oppression of minorities and to ensure that the minority is not forced to conform to the majority. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)


Greenwashing is when a company makes an environmental claim about something the organization is doing that is intended to promote a sense of environmental impact that doesn't exist.


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of the economic performance of an economy over a specific period (usually one year). GDP measures the value of all domestically produced goods and services at market prices, i.e. the total economic value added. n international comparisons, GDP is often expressed per capita (GDP per capita) in order to ensure better comparability between different countries. GDP provides too little information about the well-being of a country. Unpaid labour also plays no role in GDP. This includes voluntary work or the labour of parents raising their children. This work also contributes to the well-being of society. Likewise, only paid work that is declared to the state and for which taxes have to be paid appears in GDP.

Guest Workers

The term “guest worker” refers to those who were recruited as workers in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the post-war period as a part of the West German labour recruitment programme. Labour recruitment contracts were signed with Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, South Korea and Turkey. By 1973, 14 million workers had arrived, of whom more than 3 million remained after the recruitment stop and became immigrants. Because it was envisaged that the guest workers’ stay would be temporary, there were no policy measures taken to incorporate them into legal and political structures beyond their status as part of a workforce. Guest workers and their families often had to deal with difficult and substandard working and living conditions. As a consequence, large numbers of guest workers organized themselves in order to achieve labor equality in the workplace and secure political and social rights. They still form the basis of migrant self-organization in Germany today. In the GDR, there was a similar recruitment procedure with the "contract workers".





Hegemony refers to the dominance of a system, state, or social group. This could describe a political situation, for example when the Soviet Union exercised hegemony over the other socialist states in the Warsaw Pact, or when the Catholic Church retained hegemony in religious matters in, say, southern Europe or Latin America. But this concept is also used to describe cultural hegemony. For example, the dominant capitalist, neoliberal notion of society is a form of cultural hegemony. The notion of cultural hegemony was theorized by the Italian Neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937). Gramsci was of the opinion that the state maintains its position of power not only through violence and repression, but also through broadly approved ideas and ideologies. The task of left-wing movements is a permanent struggle for (cultural) hegemony in order to shift the social balance of power.


Hoyerswerda and Rostock-Lichtenhagen (Riots)

In 1991 and 1992, these two cities experienced right-wing racist pogroms. Right-wing extremist mobs were able to run riot and attack migrants almost unhindered for several days. A large part of the local community was supportive of these actions.






"Imperial" refers to the word "empire". Empires are characterized by the fact that they want to bring countries, regions and groups of people under their own economic, military, political, religious, social and cultural power.


International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund is a specialized agency of the UN. It was founded in 1994 along with the World Bank, together they are known as the Bretton Woods System. With headquarters in Washington, the IMF has 189 member states. The aim of the institution is to promote trade between countries and to dismantle trade restrictions (→ Free Trade). The IMF is also responsible to lend money to member countries in times of economic crisis in order to help them out of their difficulties to pay back. The IMF is often criticized for the fact that the US and many European countries have more influence there as the rest. Another critique is that the focus is too much on economic politics and not so much on equitable distribution.



Industrialization means that the way people make things and where they work is changing. Many things are no longer made by hand, but with the help of machines. Many people therefore work in factories to produce goods and commodities. The age of industrialization began in Europe around 250 years ago.


Industrialized Country

Industrialized countries usually have a high quality of life. The economy accumulates profit mainly through industrial activity. Per capita income, production, and technological standards are fairly high in these countries. Other aspects, such as medical provision, are also at a high standard. Between the categories of  developing and industrialized countries are the so-called “emerging economies”.

Classifying industrialized and developing countries within the framework of developmental policy brings with it many points of criticism. Read more about this here...

Institutional Racism

Institutional racism is a form of racism that exists within organizations or institutions and relates to norms, processes, modes of administration, and structures that lead to the discrimination and oppression of Black people, People of Color (PoC), and non-white people generally.


Internalized Racism

Internalized racism is a person’s inner conviction regarding the inferiority, weakness, or deficiency of people of racialized groups. White people, Black people, and People of Colour worldwide all most likely have internalized racism. We live in a structurally racist world and the majority of us have been socialized in a racist manner. There is, however, a difference between actively and passively internalized racism.

Examples include: When a person is surprised that a woman wearing a niqab is a doctor and not a nurse; or when that which is “normal” is equated with Western principles. For example, “During my stay in India I was able to find ‘normal’ food”, or “African philosophy is completely different from ‘normal’ philosophy”.



Interpersonal Racism

Interpersonal racism is the most well-known dimension of racism. It refers to an explicit and easily recognizable form of racism that can be observed in interactions between people.

Examples include racist commentary and insults (in-person and online), crimes and victimization due to racialization.


This concept describes the way different forms of discrimination can overlap, similar to how roads intersect. The term intersectionality was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 through her investigation of the treatment of Black women in the case DeGraffrenreid vs. General Motors. As one of the first instances in which this specific form of discrimination was brought to light, this case was very important.

It is important to note that intersectional discrimination is not the same as multiple discrimination. Multiple discrimination refers to situations in which an additive or sequential basis for discrimination exists. Intersectional discrimination applies when different forms of discrimination interact to amplify one another, such as sexism and racism.











The term landgrabbing is used colloquially to describe the growing economic interest in agricultural land and the increase in large-scale land deals worldwide. Although these are not necessarily illegal, there is often a lack of democratic control over access to land.


Land value

Land is not a commodity like any other. It cannot be multiplied, is therefore unique in its location and only available to a limited extent. Nevertheless, land is subjected to "market mechanisms" under capitalism and changes its value depending on demand. Demand can rise if the land is particularly suitable for agriculture or building development - but it can also rise because of a fashionable location, in the inner city or near water resources. Land is therefore often the subject of speculation: owners buy land for a lower price and speculate on the rising development of the land price. When this expectation is fulfilled, the land is partly sold as such or developed at a high price and resold.



The queer community is also called the LGBTIQI+ community. This acronym comes from the words: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-, queer, and intersex, while the plus stands for other sexual identities.



The loosening of government controls. In the context of trade, it refers to reductions in restrictions on international trade and capital (→ Tariffs, → Free Trade)






This term refers to the process in which groups of people are forced to the edge of society.  They are barred from participation and have poor access to resources. 



In everyday use, a methodology is a planned approach through which a specific goal may be attained. This could, for example, refer to summarizing a subject matter (the method) in order to learn its content effectively (the goal). In academia, methodology refers to the way in which knowledge is acquired, while in pedagogy specifically, methodology refers to the approach used to teach course material. Examples for pedagogical methodologies could include quizzes, games, group work, or worksheets that help learners investigate a particular topic.[1] (external link, opens in a new window)[2] (external link, opens in a new window)   



Migration is normal. Societies around the world have always been shaped by migration, and it can be understood as part of a democratic process that encompasses cultural, social, and economic processes.

The migration section views global freedom of movement as a fundamental right. Migration connects people in different countries of origin, transit, and arrival, and is a precondition for a pluralist society built on the principle of solidarity. Alongside all others who are also pushed to the margins of society, newly arrived migrants fight for fair working conditions, adequate housing, good education, and health—in other words, for a life in dignity.


Migrant-Led Organizing

Migrant-led organizing encompasses all migrant groups, projects, networks, and organizations that have arisen with the aim to create a space in which members of diverse communities can come together, in some cases in order to achieve a social and political change in society. This autonomous form of organizing is an important way for migrants to achieve full legal and social rights. It can also represent a locus for empowerment and support, and often positions itself against racist structures and exclusion in society and in politics.



Misogyny is a fundamental hostility towards women based on the belief that they are inferior to men.



Mobility can be viewed from a number of different perspectives. Good mobility means when people can access all the places they need to satisfy their daily needs via adequate transport connections. However, good and equitable mobility can also be ensured if the services and infrastructure necessary for daily life are located close to a person’s home. Only when the daily needs of all people are met and their tasks can be carried out without undue effort—independently of their income and the location of their residence—can we speak of mobility justice. Mobility is only socially and ecologically just if sustainable transport infrastructure is established that is based primarily on public transport and rail services and accommodates bicycles and pedestrians.


Modernization refers to a historical process in which societies characterized by a subsistence agricultural economy, artisanal production and simple trade develop into industrial, consumer and service oriented societies.


Multidirectional Memory

Multidirectional memory refers to memory work that defines itself as transnational, transcultural, and pluralist. The concept was coined by the literary scholar and Professor for Holocaust Studies at the University of California, Michael Rothberg. In his book Multidirectional Memory, Rothberg describes the interplay between memories of the Holocaust, colonialism, and slavery within a transnational space. By demonstrating the entanglements of a dialogic culture of memory, he opens up ways to reinforce memories of various histories of violence without questioning their various specificities.



Often used to refer to a business that is based or registered in one country but has outlets or does business in other countries. Globalization is one the main causes for the growth of such practices.





Non-binary people identify as neither female nor male. They reject binary divisions in social structures.



Colonialism is a policy through which a nation strives to subsume an external region, people, or territory and appropriate the wealth of the area. Former colonial powers active from the 16th to the 20th century include England, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Germany. Their colonies were established on the African and American continents, in Australia and in Asia, among other regions. This led to a trade system as part of which raw materials such as coal and lithium, commodities such as tea and tobacco, or minerals such as gold and diamonds could be extracted or produced in the colonies and subsequently transported to the colonial powers. Cheap labour, too, was secured through this system, meaning that people in the colonies were robbed of their livelihoods. This led to a specific form of colonial racism, in which colonial subjects were culturally marked as “other” and debased through racism.

After the former colonized states won independence from the European colonial powers in the 20th century, colonial power relations continued to persist. Through international trade agreements, debt, and the appropriation of local industry and services in the “former” colonies, the economic, political, and cultural exploitation and the subjugation of the former colonies are maintained. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)[2] (external link, opens in a new window)[3] (external link, opens in a new window)


Neoliberalism is a political and economic ideology that works towards the liberalization and strengthening of the market, as well as of private property. This leads to the weakening and shrinking of the state, and its disengagement from economic dynamics.

Neoliberalism aims, among other things, to transform vital services for health, education, food provision, culture, and housing into commodities. It also purports to eliminate, or at least to reduce, the regulatory capacity of the state, transforming it into an administrative organ with little scope for ensuring equitable safety and justice. Under neoliberalism, private companies form powerful economic groups that ultimately gain influence over policy, laws, and ways of life. Common measures of neoliberal policy include privatization, the dismantling of social investment, the flexibilization and deregulation of work, the flexibilization of taxes and tariffs, and further measures that threaten collective wellbeing and lead to the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few beneficiaries, while worldwide, impoverishment and precarity is accelerated for many.









Pacifism is an attitude and mindset that opposes war. This also includes rejecting military service and the financing of arms exports.


Private property

Private property, unlike possession, is a legal framework that allows absolute disposal over a given object or thing. An individual may possess her clothing, her toothbrush, or her bicycle. However, disposal over land and real estate, or over the means of production of goods, is possible only with a title of ownership that can be legally enforced over other rights and interests. In the capitalist system, the means of production are privately owned. Socialist societies are based on the equitable redistribution of resources through the socialization of the means of production and of land.



When water, electricity, or housing provision infrastructure is privatized—i.e. sold to private companies—this means that these companies have full disposal over these structures. Companies can, for example, decide whether housing fulfills the needs of the wider population at affordable prices, or whether its anticipated profits will be achieved through rental increases—i.e. whether the company is oriented not towards serving the common good, but rather towards generating profit alone. Conversely, remunicipalization is when infrastructure is returned into public hands.




Protectionism is the practice of following protectionist trade policies. A protectionist trade policy allows the government of a country to promote domestic producers, and thereby boost the domestic production of goods and services by imposing tariffs or otherwise limiting foreign goods and services in the marketplace (Opposite: → Free Trade).






Queerness is a self-designated and collective term related to sexual orientations and/or gender identities that depart from heterosexual norms. These include homo-, bi-, pan-, and asexuality, to name a few. Queer genders include non-binary, trans, and genderfluid identities. Genderfluid refers to individuals with a shifting/fluid gender, which may vary over time. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)[2] (external link, opens in a new window)





Racial Profiling

Racial Profiling

This concept refers to a discriminatory practice in which institutions such as the police assume individuals to be suspicious, guilty, or dangerous due to their appearance. The racist categorization of individuals intensifies the exclusion, discrimination, and marginalization of Black and Indigenous people, and of People of Colour. In the field of justice, people with characteristics such as darker hair and eyes are automatically assumed to have a Turkish or Arabic migrant background, and are incorrectly considered to be more dangerous as a result.



This concept describes the process of classifying and ranking groups of people into pseudoscientific categories of “race” through visual or cultural characteristics such as language, skin tone, religion, clothing, etc.






Racism is the structural, institutional,interpersonal, and internalized oppression of racialized groups through the ideology of “race”, which divides people into hierarchically organized categories. This discrimination occurs in relation to a person’s assumed “background”, or to visual characteristics such as skin tone or hair colour, but also to a person’s name, their accent and/or language, or other attributes selected randomly and at will in order to categorize and devalue people.



Rebound Effect

Efficiency improvements often reduce the cost of products or services. This can lead to a change in the behavior of users: they consume more - the original savings are partially offset. This effect is called rebound.

Resource Justice

Resource justice combines the concepts of distributive justice and climate justice. While humanity's current use of resources is not sustainable and is leading to the climate crisis, it is also very unequally distributed. It is often the people who live in resource-rich countries who are poor and have little benefit from these resources. This is known as resource injustice.


Rent Cap

The Berlin Act on the Revision of Statutory Provisions on Rent Restrictions (Berliner Gesetz zur Neuregelung gesetzlicher Vorschriften zur Mietenbegrenzung) is colloquially referred to as the rent cap (Mietendeckel). The Act existed for a full year before it was overturned by the Federal Constitutional Court in April 2021 with the argument that the state of Berlin does not have legislative power over rental policy. The rent cap stipulated that rents are capped at a maximum limit for a five-year period. The maximum rent levels depended on the building’s quality, its location, and the apartments’ furnishings.

Further reading (in German): Bundesweiter Mietendeckel: Nötig und möglich (external link, opens in a new window)

Rental policy

In Germany, slightly over half of the population are renters; in larger cities, the proportion of renters is even higher. Rental and housing policy encompasses all policy programmes, initiatives, and negotiations that regulate and control rental prices and address housing demand, including through the planning and construction of rental housing. Due to the high proportion of renters, rental policy is often considered to be the social issue of the 21st century. Rapidly rising rents, increasing numbers of people without a home or a shelter, and the increasing burden of rent on monthly income mean that here, the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top is becoming ever-more visible.

Further reading (in German): Friedrich Engels und die Wohnungsfrage (external link, opens in a new window)


Under the everyday understanding of the term, a revolution takes place when a break is made from the status quo, allowing something new to emerge that changes society in its entirety. We speak of a political revolution when one form of state is replaced with another (such as the transformation of a dictatorship into a democracy). A social revolution refers to the moment when the core social structure of society is renewed (for example through a socialist revolution, which aspires to abolish all social classes). A cultural revolution means that modes of living are redefined by the people (such as during the student movement of 1968).






This concept defines forms of discrimination that occur in relation to sex and gender, leading to a hierarchical order of sexes in which cis masculinity is defined as the norm.


Socialism is the link in the evolution from a capitalist society to communism. When it became clear in the Soviet Union that the path to communism would be very long and difficult, the non-capitalist society established was defined as socialist. Socialism is, however, also a collective term for many leftist and social-democratic models of a more collective and emancipated society.




Solidarity refers to helping each other. People do this when they belong (firmly) together and want to achieve something together. The basic idea of solidarity is: Every person is vulnerable, every person needs other people. Global Solidarity means to understand and to fight for all people to be treated fairly. Only then will people stop the exploitation of people and nature, especially in the Global South. [1] (external link, opens in a new window)


Social Infrastructure

Social infrastructure means the networks, services, facilities, and activities that assist in securing the existence of society. Care work, healthcare, education, and culture, as well as housing and transport, are central preconditions for participation in society and should therefore be accessible for everyone.


Social Justice

A social and political system striving for social justice creates conditions that make it impossible for wealth to be accumulated by a minority. Social justice aims for the equitable distribution of wealth.

However, the point here is not that everything should be the same for everyone. Rather, available resources should be distributed in a way that corresponds to the realities of life and to people’s needs. Social justice therefore means equal opportunity, but it also means that living conditions must satisfy people’s different requirements. This includes, for example, access to adequate healthcare, education, culture, housing, and food. It means fulfilling the need for a healthy environment and peaceful life for all.



Structural Racism

Structural or systemic racism refers to forms of racism that are ever-present and deeply rooted in systems, laws, written or unwritten modes of operation, norms, and deeply-rooted practices and convictions. These give rise to, condone, and maintain the widespread and unjust treatment and oppression ofBIPoC (Black and Indigenous people and People of Colour).

Examples include “racial” spatial segregation, for example through passports, in particular those of people from Global South countries, which restrict freedom of movement and action more than passports from Global North countries. A further example is the invisibilization of and refusal to recognize knowledge output from BIPoC.




The power of a country to control its own government.



Sustainability can be understood as a form of ecological and economic action that aims to ensure comparable or better living conditions for present and future generations by carefully applying and protecting the necessary elements. Environmental, economic and social aspects are at the center of sustainability.






A tax or duty imposed by one country on the goods and services imported from another country to influence it, raise revenues or protect competitive advantage (→ Protectionism).


Technology transfer

Technology transfer is the transfer of economically viable technologies from industrialised countries to developing countries. The transfer includes technical knowledge in the form of products and intangible transfers such as advice, expertise and training. The aim is to develop and expand the scientific and technical infrastructure, increase technological expertise, adapt and disseminate technologies and increase competitiveness.


People who are trans do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth.



Locality is normally defined by geographical and physical boundaries. Translocal, on the other hand, is part of the process of globalisation. These are open and non-linear processes that create close relationships between different people and places. Such exchanges are created, for example, through migration and networks that are redefined and reworked.

Transsexual Act (TSG)

The German Transsexuellengesetz (TSG)—or Transsexual Act—came into being in 1980 and regulates official processes for changing one’s name and status (meaning how their gender is recorded in identification documents). Those affected by this law must undergo countless, extremely costly procedures, assessments, and legal and bureaucratic appointments. Additionally, until recently, trans women were required to undergo castration, even against their will, in order to obtain official recognition of their correct name and gender. The TSG has also long been criticized in Germany, since it requires trans people to answer highly intimate questions (for example, in the form of questionnaires).






As the workers’ movement developed, waged labourers began to form interest groups. These were often established independently of political parties, but generally had the underlying aim to transform society along the lines of the socialist model. Mostly, unions work towards concrete improvements in working conditions or wage increases. Unions experience oppression in particular in right-wing societies, because they contradict the interests of the ruling classes.




“Verfassungsschutz”—Agency for the Protection of the Constitution

Verfassungsschutz”Agency for the Protection of the Constitution

The Agency for the Protection of the Constitution refers to a range of different German authorities at federal or state levels, for example the Federal Agency for Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz). These are so-called domestic intelligence services (colloquially also known as secret services). They are intended to safeguard the free and democratic basic order and protect it from anti-constitutional attacks and disturbances. Domestic intelligence services are often criticized, for example due to a lack of democratic control over the activities of the intelligence services.





World Bank

World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to governments of low and middle income countries to pursue capital projects. The World Bank consists of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) and three other organizations owned by the World Bank Group. Along with the IMF, it was established at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference. It is based in Washington DC in the United States of America.