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Research Area A: Governance & Administration

Citizens Plaza in Tokyo with skyscrapers

In the first funding period, Research Area A has focused on questions of governance, administration and changing socio-political imaginaries under the conditions of cultural flows: how did political authorities and their agents ‘deal with’ society (in order to produce ‘adequate’ citizens), how did they form institutional and ideological orders (in order to control their citizens both physically and mentally), and how was all of this affected by interactions with foreign concepts, institutions and practices? During the second funding period, the efforts already made to contribute to a ‘Global History of Concepts’ from the standpoint of governance and administration will be amplified by studying a wider range of political, legal, religious and economic issues embedded in a transcultural context. The Research Area will extend its dialogue with social sciences by continuing to deal with various aspects of socio-political organization, including pre-modern concepts of continents and empire, global networks, subaltern diplomacy, colonialism and the transformation of cultures of legal reasoning, transcultural commerce and reciprocity and the transcultural origins of capitalism.

We aspire to study the dynamics of appropriations between Asia and Europe, introducing new approaches and models, periodisations and standards. Our aim is to challenge Eurocentric as well as Asia-centered interpretations of ‘local norms’ and ‘universal laws,’ of borders between religion and politics, of world-view constructions and structures of international institutions.

Disciplines involved: Research Area A brings together scholars from social sciences, archaeology, history, religious studies, and (East) Asian Studies.


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