On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South

Wiebke Keim, from Institut für Soziologie (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg) announces a  new research project around Europe’s relation to the Global South:

We are happy to announce the launch of our international project  ‘Universality and the Acceptance Potential of Social Science Knowledge: On the Circulation of Knowledge between Europe and the Global South’. Four interconnected research projects are going to be carried out in the next four years and at same time we will be supporting and  complementing one another.

Our studies focus on the following ambivalent phenomenon: on the one hand, the European research area and its achievements still enjoy a high standing outside of Europe. On the other hand, the worldwide influence of the European theoretical tradition is increasingly being perceived as dominant, and European social science’s claim to universality is, as a result, seen as overbearing and presumptuous. By investigating this field of tension, we aim to obtain innovative ideas for the future positioning of the European scholarly community and its successful activity within the internationalized field of social sciences.

This endeavour has been made possible above all through the funding of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research  (German:  BMBF) within the ‘Free Space for the Humanities’ funding initiative on the subject of  ‘Europe Viewed from the Outside’. The  Institute of Sociology at the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg has agreed to act as a home for our project. Our international advisory board will support us scientifically: Prof.  Hermann Schwengel and Prof. Sabine Dabringhaus from the University of Freiburg, Prof. Jìmí O. Adésínà of Rhodes University as well as Prof. Ari Sitas from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Assoc. Prof. Syed Farid Alatas from the National University of Singapore, Prof. Monica Budowski from the University of Fribourg  in Switzerland, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ecevit from the  Middle East Technical University  in Turkey, Dr. Terry Shinn from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne/CNRS  and Dr. Roland Waast from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)  -  Ex  ORSTOM  in France. In addition, at present four  researchers are associated to the project: Dr. Miriam Nandi (English studies), Dr. Paruedee Nguitragool (Political Science) und Barbara Riedel (M.A., Social Anthropology) from the  University of Freiburg, as well as Dr. Sabine Ammon (Philosophy and Architecture) from the Technical University Berlin. Twelve Fellows from around the world are also going to work with us here in Freiburg, each for several months, in order to promote the international and interdisciplinary scholarly exchange of our project. We will be welcoming our fellows to Freiburg beginning in April 2011.

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