Aims and Profile: European Global Studies

Thinking Dynamics of Change beyond Eurocentrism

The globalized world of the 21st century is simultaneously shaped by profound dichotomies, multi-faceted entanglements and dis-entanglements. It is a world of reduced distances, more closely connected than ever before through the global mobility of individuals, objects, goods, and ideas. It is also a world that witnesses increasing calls for partition, separation and exclusion. The construction of a strong nation state, defined by alleged linguistic, cultural and religious authenticity, deeply affects ideas of identity. At the same time, processes of globalization have profoundly influenced the construction of identities and forms of democratic decision-making hitherto based on ideas of territorial organization. 

Concepts and analytical categories derived from European experiences have long dominated research in the social sciences and humanities as well as in most other academic disciplines. Their inadequacy to describe phenomena in research, and the distortion of perspectives which they can induce, have become an enormous challenge for researchers. Academic disciplines have developed a vast array of innovative theoretical and methodological approaches in order to problematize Eurocentrism and to challenge conventional research based on centuries of colonialism. Exploring these approaches and their multiple opportunities for research from a critical point of view allows for a new discussion of the dynamics of global change and the complex role of Europe and Switzerland in today’s world.

European Global Studies

The research focus European Global Studies aims to explore and analyze the multi-layered connections between Switzerland and Europe in a global context. It provides an intellectual environment that merges the analytical approaches of the academic fields of legal studies, political and social sciences, history, philosophy and economics. The intention of this research focus is to gain new research-based insights into the past, present and future challenges of Switzerland and Europe with a view to global and local implications.