This strategic research field is dedicated to the study of globalisation processes such as global connections and the exchange between world religions and the development of human orders. Scholars from regional, cultural, social and historical sciences conduct research in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) and the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO).

Global Connections and Comparisons

enlarge the image: Computergrafik: Vogelperspektive aus dem All auf die Erde, wo ein Teil Europas zu erkennen ist. Darüber liegen weiße Punkte in unterschiedlicher Größe und lockerer Anordnung, die miteinander verbunden sind.
Image: Daniel Janetzki, Visionauten

The Global Connections and Comparisons research profile area focuses on the emergence and effects of the “global condition”, which is bringing about material and cultural connections between all societies and at the same time constantly gives rise to new inequalities. In this profile area, scholars from regional, cultural, social and historical sciences conduct research in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) and the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO). The research activities in this profile area are based on the work of the Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics (ReCentGlobe), whose spokesperson is Professor Matthias Middell. ReCentGlobe is a central institution of Leipzig University and is dedicated to the investigation of past and present globalisation projects in a broad interdisciplinary cooperation. The Graduate School Global and Area Studies supports more than 120 doctoral candidates from over 30 countries in their research work.

The profile area benefits from externally funded research alliances such as the Collaborative Research Centre 1199, Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition, and the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies 2344, Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities. Through the Forum for the Study of the Global Condition, it also has close links with the nearby Universities of Erfurt, Halle-Wittenberg and Jena as well as the Max Planck and Leibniz Institutes at these locations.

The successful cooperation is also founded on interdisciplinary master’s programmes in Global Studies, European Studies and the proposed bachelor’s elective in Transregional Studies. Some of these degree programmes are also offered abroad, such as the master’s programme Global Studies: Peace and Security in Africa at Addis Ababa University, and the international master’s in Small Enterprise Promotion and Training which can be completed at Leipzig and in the home country.

The acquisition of major collaborative projects, coupled with the excellent level of collaboration between the participating university and non-university researchers, ensures that the Global Connections and Comparisons profile area has a wide-ranging platform for comparing globalisations. As part of its research strategy, our university is pursuing the further development of this field into an integrated centre. To this end, we are applying to the German Science Council for a research building that combines interdisciplinary cooperation under one roof, brings together the internationalised doctoral training of the many relatively small disciplines involved, provides technical and methodological support for new digital humanities processes, and establishes the best conditions for interaction between research and the general public.

The following projects are funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and form part of the Global Connections and Comparisons research profile area:

Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition (CRC 1199)

Firstly, the Spatialization under the Global Condition Collaborative Research Centre examines the emergence of spatial formats – the results of spatial action of individual stakeholder groups, such as territories, networks, chains, enclaves, corridors and (special) zones. Secondly, this Collaborative Research Centre aims to understand how these spatial formats are combined into complex spatial orders, and their evolution since the 18th century under the global condition.

Multiple Secularities – Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities (FOR 2344)

The Multiple Secularities Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies examines different arrangements of secularity – the separation of the “religious” from the “secular” – in cultural circles beyond today’s Western world. In this way, the researchers working here want to understand the associated conflicts surrounding the power of interpretation and claims to validity in different world regions.

On the Way to the Fluvial Anthroposphere (SPP 2361)

Priority Programme 2361, On the Way to the Fluvial Anthroposphere, explores the interactions between human societies and pre-industrial floodplains in Central Europe. The core research question of this Priority Programme is the extent to which humans have had an influence on changes to floodplains, and since when. Leipzig University, the University of Tübingen and the Technical University of Darmstadt developed the framework programme together. Christoph Zielhofer from the Institute for Geography at Leipzig University is coordinating the first period of the project.

The scholars working together at the Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (EEGA) pose the question of how societies in Eastern Europe position themselves in global processes and conflicts. They aim to spread new knowledge beyond the academic sphere. In addition, they combine the training of junior academics with international and interdisciplinary study programmes. Particular attention is paid to the communication of research results in the media and to the general public.

The Forum for the Study of the Global Condition investigates how different stakeholders deal with cross-border migration, trade, financial flows and the transfer of ideas, and in doing so, create and determine what can be called “the global”. Founded as a joint initiative by the Universities of Halle-Wittenberg, Jena, Erfurt and Leipzig, it pools and links research in the humanities and social sciences across all these locations.

As part of the Leipzig Way, our university’s research strategy is unlocking opportunities for transdisciplinary research. Issues of globalisation can be linked to the natural and life sciences in the areas of global health, biodiversity and climate research.

Professor Christoph Kleine


Schillerstraße 6
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97 - 37162
Fax: +49 341 97 - 37169

Professor Matthias Middell


Global and European Studies Institute
Emil-Fuchs-Straße 1
04105 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97 - 30040
Fax: +49 341 97 - 31130040

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