The Centre for Area Studies, founded in 2009, is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research institute at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy of the University of Leipzig. Placing a special emphasis on the academic collaboration between area studies and other disciplines in social sciences and humanities, CAS facilitates transregional and global approaches. The successful realization of the research programme “Cultural Encounters and Political Orders in a Global Age” during the first funding period (2009–2014) propelled the establishment of these approaches in bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD programmes as well as the internationalization strategies of the university. The second research phase 2014–2016 aimed to systematically summarize the individual research projects of the first funding period and future work on guiding categories for a historically grounded globalization research. The fruit of these efforts is the Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies, comprised of contributions from a wide spectrum of international scholars.

In 2015, the Centre for Area Studies successfully applied for the funding of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” for the period 2016–2019 (German Research Foundation [DFG]). The programme of the SFB 1199 is directly linked to the overall research foci of the Centre. The SFB 1199 is a cooperation between the University of Leipzig and two non-university research centres: the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL).

Furthermore, the Centre promotes an interdisciplinary consolidation of teaching and research agreements between the involved studies and coordinates a great number as well as vast array of third-party funded research projects and activities. The Centre is directly linked to the Graduate School Global and Area Studies, where currently more than 50 scholars supervise more than 120 junior researchers in pursuing their PhD projects.  The Centre was from 2009–2016 financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the initiative “Strengthening Area Studies in Germany”. After the end of the funding, the University of Leipzig took over this responsibility and guaranteed through its financial support of the coordination office of the Centre for Area Studies its consolidation and continued activities and important work.

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