Models of Change. Functions, Semantics, Practices in the Modern Age

Recent approaches in the fields of global history and trans-national studies have resulted in the national state appearing obsolete as a predestined space for culturally and socially oriented studies.

At the same time, the modern concepts of time which emerged during the European saddle period have become questionable: linear and often teleological concepts of the course of history have been replaced by an understanding of the parallelism of various historical chronicles, some of which are of extremely long duration (such as "Anthropocene" or "big history"), while others have a momentary character.

The transformation of time and space concepts have far-reaching implications for the plasticity of change. This is to be discussed in the CAS research focus specifically in its spatial location. Both the globalization experience and the most recent research on transformation show how important it is not only to take the factor of time into account, but also to pay equal attention to movements through space and relations within spaces. The research focus will center its attention on a field of debate which has received important impulses from the discipline of area studies. Area Studies represents a contrast to the postulates of normative modeling in that it insists upon the empirical variety of global reality, thus making a contribution to the questioning of basic academic assumptions which the "Western" world in particular, through ignoring other empirical findings and experiences, has declared to be the norm.


Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Katrin Auspurg
    (Institut für Soziologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme
    (Lehrstuhl für Theaterwissenschaften)
  • Prof. Dr. Arndt Brendecke
    (Lehrstuhl für die Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Eveline Dürr
    (Institut für Ethnologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Karsten Fischer
    (Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI), LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Julia Herzberg
    (Professur für Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas/Russlands in der Vormoderne, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Armin Nassehi
    (Lehrstuhl für Soziologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Riccardo Nicolosi
    (Lehrstuhl für Slavische Philologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Karen Pittel
    (Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insb. Energie, Klima und erschöpfbare natürliche Ressourcen, LMU, sowie ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung)
  • Prof. Dr. Berthold Rittberger
    (Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI), Lehrstuhl für Internationale Beziehungen, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Uwe Sunde
    (Seminar für Bevölkerungsökonomie, LMU)

Visiting Fellows

Prof. Eduardo Gudynas

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Hans Joas

Previous Visiting Fellow


Prof. Dr. Nicole Reinhardt

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow



  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Thomas Welskopp – "Keine Atempause. Wie die Geschichtswissenschaft Wandel herleiten, erklären und darstellen kann"
    (summer semester 2017)
  • Lecture by Dr. Hans Groth – "Africa: Failure is not an Option"
    (winter semester 2017/18)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Hans Joas – "Die Macht des Heiligen. Eine Alternative zur Geschichte von der Entzauberung"
    (winter semester 2017/18)
  • Lecture by Jim Endersby, Ph.D. and Prof. Marina Mogilner, Ph.D. – "Imperial Evolutions"
    (summer semester 2018)
  • Meeting – "Change through Repetition. Mimesis as a Transformative Principle between Art and Politics"
    (winter semester 2018/19)
  • Meeting – "Shaping Change. Epistemologies, Practices, Politics"
    (winter semester 2018/19)