The Centre for Area Studies currently consists of 6 research programmes. The central research currently underway is a two-volume Handbook on Transregional Studies comprised of contributions from a wide spectrum of international scholars. The overarching research programme of CAS is "Cultural Encounters and Political Orders in a Global Age", which comprises today 6 senior researchers and their projects. Additionally, there are 2 senior researchers as well as more than 20 junior researchers examining "Critical Junctures of Globalization" within the DFG Research Training Group (GK 1261). The Centre also supports the DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448): "Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder" together with a research team consisting of 2 junior researchers analyzing "Changing Stateness in Africa". Furthermore, CAS hosts the research project "New Regionalisms in a Changing Global Order: Mapping Latin America and Africa", including a team composed of a senior researcher and a junior researcher.
With its interdisciplinary organization, the research profile of the Centre for Area Studies includes multiple research topics through a wide range of perspectives, methods, and theories from disciplines as diverse as political science, economics, law, sociology, geography, philosophy, ethnology, history, as well as cultural, religious, linguistic and literature studies. Together these practices and branches of knowledge are utilized to study and investigate specific world regions and their interconnectedness, which in turn requires both language skills and familiarity with the respective regions themselves. With this approach, the spectrum of world regions examined by the Centre’s senior, junior, and guest researchers ranges from Africa and Asia to the Americas and the Middle East while also studying Europe, with special interest on its eastern borderlands, which act as a bridge to other world regions. Underlying the scope of areas covered is the determination to overcome the detachment between the study of Europe, and the West in general, and the other regions that compose the world. With Leipzig’s emphasis on the study of globalization, the focus moves a container-like understanding of regions to the study of processes of de- and reterritorialization.
The Centre benefits from the academic structure of the University of Leipzig, which belongs to one of the few German universities that owing to a rich tradition of institutes dedicated to regional studies possesses the necessary framework to develop a broad and comprehensive scholarly programme. Extra-university research institutes, such as the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) and the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), actively contribute to the CAS activities and programme. Furthermore, being a cross-faculty institution that is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy provides opportunities for inter-institutional research and associations due to the Centre’s numerous affiliations with universities both throughout Europe and the world.
Please see the Collaboration and Training & Resources tabs for further information relating to research partners and cooperation of the Centre.