Potentials and Challenges of Global Studies for the 21st Century


  • Madeleine Herren


The Institute’s publication series Basel Papers – well established since many years – will from now on appear online. The Papers will therefore be easily accessible worldwide for readers who are interested in shifting conceptions and transformation processes of Europe since the end of the Cold War. With its four issues per year the series offers insights into ongoing research projects, with the aim of testing concepts and research methods of European Global Studies as the Institute’s new thematic focus since 2013.

An increasing number of scholars in various academic disciplines currently aims at overcoming Eurocentric presuppositions and methodological nationalisms. However, these efforts do not deny the position of Europe as a central and formative academic orientation and challenging topic of research. In contrast to former approaches which often focused on Europe as a model of successful modernization and democratization, conceptualizing Europe in the 21st century will be a multi-layered task incorporating a multiplicity of different approaches, perspectives and facets, all of them shaped by dynamic interaction.

The first volume of the relaunched Basel Papers series emerged from a cooperation of the Institute for European Global Studies with Matthias Middell, professor of global history and director of the Center of Advanced Study at the University of Leipzig. Matthias Middell participated in the Institute’s international fellowship program and shared his experiences in developing global studies as a field of research with a European focus. This field profited substantially from the Leipzig Global and European Studies Institute. Since the initiative of Leipzig, other academic institutions have begun to reconsider the ways how European-based analytical competence can access globalization on an innovative analytical level on the one hand, and how Europe, considered as a promising conceptual framework, can regain academic interest as a new and attractive intellectual challenge on the other. In his contribution of the present Basel Papers, Matthias Middell explores the scope of action, the limits and innovative perspectives of Global Studies. Patrick Manning, professor of world history and Director of the World History Center at Pittsburg University is a specialist in cross-disciplinary theory, African studies, and the use of big data on a global scale. Philip C. McCarty from the Global & International Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recently published on Integrated Perspectives in Global Studies. The research interests of Eric Vanhaute from the University of Ghent are in world-systems analysis and historical information systems among others.


The Institute for European Global Studies: 
Relaunch of the Publication Series Basel Papers (Page 4)

European Global Studies:
The Historicity of Europe’s Global Entanglements with a Focus on Interdisciplinary Research
Madeleine Herren (Page 6)

Global Studies: A Historical Approach
Patrick Manning (Page 17)

Communicating Global Perspectives
Philip C. McCarty (Page 27)

What Is Global Studies All About?
Matthias Middell (Page 38)

Historicizing Global Studies. About Old and New Frontiers of World-Making
Eric Vanhaute (Page 50)