Responding to transformations often described by the shorthand expression “globalization,” the Europainstitut changed its English name in 2013 to Institute for European Global Studies. Five years later, members of the Institute came together to discuss their different views and assess the aims of European Global Studies. Among the points touched upon are the importance of different disciplinary backgrounds in this endeavor, the question of interdisciplinarity and/or transdisciplinarity, as well as the perceived challenges and promises with regard to the future of European Global Studies.
The latest issue of the E-Journal «Global Europe» contains a transcript of parts of this discussion, edited and framed with introductory paragraphs in order to increase readability and facilitate comprehension. The purpose of publishing this discussion on European Global Studies is to clarify the current agenda of the Institute, to showcase the plurality of approaches pursued under its roof, and also to outline its innovative potential for the Social Sciences and the Humanities in the 21st century.
This article considers ageing in cities of the Global South, with a particular focus on urban transformation and place-making in the old city center of Patan, Kathmandu Valley. Building upon discussions evolving around concepts such as ‘active ageing’, ‘environmental gerontology’ and ‘age-friendly cities’, terms largely coined in northern America and western Europe, the article addresses their productivity – and challenges – when applied in the case of Nepal. It considers a larger field of ageing in the realm of transcultural place-making, since the contextualization includes global circulations of ideas and practices related to cultural heritage, transnational migration and urban transformation through economic liberalization. The ethnographic material collected between 2014 – 17 among Newar senior residents is discussed with respect to questions of ownership, participation and responsibility. It highlights the entangled relationship of socio-religious relations and built environment, as well as intangible heritage, seeking to stress the importance of ephemeral and interstitial spaces that do not necessarily resonate with ‘global’ concepts of public and private, wellbeing and development.