The “Trajectories of Modernity” (TRAMOD) project aims at advancing the analysis of the contemporary plurality of self-understandings and related institutional structures of societies and polities in the current global context. It will analyze these self-understandings against the background of the historical trajectories of those societies. The analysis of the existing multiple forms of modernity is the major challenge to current social and political theory and comparative-historical and political sociology. It requires a conceptual and empirical analysis of that which is common to different forms of modernity and that which varies between them. Furthermore, it demands an analysis as to why particular forms of modernity developed in specific societal settings. Convincing responses to these questions are currently not available. Scholars in this field either underestimate variation or succumb to some idea of global trends of ‘neomodernization’ or neo-liberal transformation of global capitalism, or they overestimate historical continuities and provide some culturalist explanation of ‘civilizational’ difference.