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Image by Sylvia Yang


From a decentred, non-linear, historical perspective, the research initiative explores the transnational and transregional entanglements brought about by global dynamics, comparing new ones with their historical predecessors at relevant critical junctures.

According to many observers, the global condition is dramatically changing. New Global Dynamics (NGD) are seemingly proliferating, being condensed into a perceived multiple crisis (or pluri-crisis in the words of A. Tooze). Regarded as a deep caesura in societal development, this multi-crisis encompasses the crisis of expanding global markets and the related inequalities, the crisis of the international political and legal order, the crisis of approaching or already reached tipping points in climate change and shrinking biodiversity, the crisis of various patterns and models of social cohesion, and the crisis of the coexistence of epistemic (cultural and religious) communities. 

Although the globalization paradigm seems to be exhausted in its explanatory power, this does not mean the end of transnational or transregional entanglements. In understanding these linkages in a decentred and non-linear way, the cluster focuses on global dynamics and compares the new ones with their historical predecessors at relevant critical junctures.

The dynamics observed in the present and past are new insofar as they are linked to a diagnosis of crisis and awareness of caesura, but they are neither the first nor presumably the last changes in and to the global condition. They are global because individual and collective actors experience, perceive, and respond to these crises and caesuras in unique ways according to different worldviews. Dynamics cannot be thought of as a single, linearly directed relationship from centre to periphery but rather as an intricate dialectical interplay of integration and fragmentation (spatial), belonging and othering (social), coexistence and competition (epistemic), and exploitation and conservation (human-nature). These dialectics, which bring about transforming and ordering processes, are driven by as well as drive the interaction of long-term structural changes and various actors’ parallel and competing globalization projects.

The cluster combines preliminary work in large research networks with broad area studies expertise and integrates insights from humanities, social, environmental, and spatial sciences to develop its own knowledge order, acting as the basis for

  • institutionalization of a School for New Global Dynamics that spans the borders of two German federal states and universities as well as seven non-university research institutions;

  • cooperation between researchers, organized into four research areas and a series of junior research groups located at their interfaces; 

  • training in international PhD and MA programmes; and

  • orientation skill-building concerning global dynamics and regional transformation.

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