Die Weltkarte als Zeitungscollage


Entanglements and Globalisation

With its research, this department aims at explaining historical processes of interconnection — some reverberating into the present — in economics, politics, culture, academia and law. On the one hand, its focus lies on the social change in Eastern Europe tied to the trans-local, trans-national and trans-regional transfers of peoples, ideas and goods; on the other, it studies Eastern Europe’s positioning as a world region along the global West-East and North-South sight lines.

The economic, political, cultural, academic and legal historical researches derive from the GWZO’ overarching guiding themes and are situated at the intersections of regional history studies, modern global history approaches, comparative area studies and historical cultural studies. They are connected by their joint focus on Eastern Europe’s contribution to supra-regional phenomena of interconnection since the Early Modern era as well as the region’s positioning in processes of globalisation.

The department critically interrogates interpretations that characterise Eastern Europe as diverging from the »normal path« of global development, as being regressive, peripheral or imitative of overwhelmingly Western models. With its interdisciplinary approach, its international team actively contributes to the development of categories, methods and theories of the rapidly growing field of trans-regional research.

Travel passport belonging to Bella Chagall

Subject Fields of the Department Entanglements and Globalisation

Global Economy

This field examines East European strategies of positioning itself in the global economy from the global condition since the middle of the 19th century to the present. It focuses on trans-national and trans-regional trade relationships, capital flows, networks of economic actors as well as the transfer of technologies and development concepts.

Circulation of Knowledge

This field centres around actors and institutions of the history of different disciplines of East European knowledge and science and their networks. It examines this region's production and circulation of knowledge — from the humanities, economics and the natural sciences — about the world and about Eastern Europe in other parts of the world.

International Positioning

These studies focus on positioning strategies and the influence of East European actors in international organisations as well as in the negotiation of international conflict solutions, examining how they operate against the backdrop of diverse interplays between supra-regional problem fields and political orders in the region.


A major contribution of the field of international cultural transfer has been proving the deeply interwoven interplay of intercultural relationships and the transformation of national societies. Analysing interculturalism in Eastern Europe means expanding one’s focus to include processes of transnational entanglement.

Completed Research Themes and Projects


Publications 2017-2020

From the Department’s Work

Ostmitteleuropa Transnational. Handbuch einer transnationalen Geschichte Ostmitteleuropas

This multi-volume publication project is the first attempt worldwide to offer a comprehensive view of the history of trans-nationalisation in a major European region. The first volume covers the time from the development of the »global condition« in the mid-19th century to the First World War; the second volume will treat the years from 1914/18 to 1945/48, and the third the period of state socialism in East-Central Europe.

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Cover des Handbuchs einer transnationalen Geschichte

The GWZO on Air | Forschungsquartett on detekor.fm

This podcast presents preliminary research results of the project network »Multiple Transformationen: Gesellschaftliche Erfahrung und kultureller Wandel in Ostdeutschland und Ostmitteleuropa vor und nach 1989« [Multiple Transformations: Societal Experiences and Cultural Change in East Germany and Eastern Middle Europe Pre- and Post-1989], funded by the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK). Among other topics, Beáta Hock speaks about cultural promotion in the former Eastern bloc and about the cultural scene’s complete re-orientation around the time of German reunification.

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Screenshot der Sendung beim detektor.fm

The GWZO’s Sub-Project in the SFB 199

The DFG has extended the collaborative research centre »Processes of Spatialisation under the Global Condition« for a further funding period. This cooperation between the University of Leipzig, the GWZO, the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (ifL) and the Technische Universität Dresden began its second funding period in early 2020. The GWZO sub-project B03 »Social Development Models for the Third World« is led by Frank Hadler, Uwe Müller and Stefan Troebst.

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Tanzanier vor dem RGW-Gebäude, 1971.

New Publications

Gözde Yazıcı Cörüt, Loyalty and Citizenship. Ottoman Perspectives on its Russian Border Region (1878–1914), Göttingen 2021

The main concern of this book is with Ottoman efforts to establish sovereignty on its side of the repositioned Russo-Ottoman border, focusing on issues of state and citizenship. It attempts to answer the following questions: How was the Ottoman citizenry defined here? Through which policies and practices was the sovereign territory (re)constructed during the period between the Treaty of Berlin (1878) and the start of the First World War (1914)? How were people, communities, and their lands included and excluded and how did this impact on the daily lives and citizenship status of those in the borderland region?

Katja Castryck-Naumann (ed.), Transregional Connections in the History of East-Central Europe, Berlin-Boston 2021

Transregional connections play a fundamental role in the history of East-Central Europe. This volume explores this connectivity by showing how people from this region have positioned themselves within global processes while, in turn, also shaping them. The contributions examine different fields of action such as economy, arts, international regulations and law, development aid, and migration, focusing on the period between the middle of the 19th century and the end of the Cold War.

"Loyalty and Citizenship" von Gözde Cörüt und "Transregional Connections in the History of East Central Europe" von Katja Castryck-Naumann


The Department Entanglements and Globalisation

Researchers from the disciplines of contemporary history, global and economic history, art and literary studies as well as cultural history are working together on a trans-national history of the Eastern Europe.

The department is led by Prof. Dr. Frank Hadler.


Visiting Researchers at the GWZO



Conferences, Guest Lectures and More

29.06.2022, 15:00 -
01.07.2022, 13:00


Between Trade and Aid: Theories, Practices, and Results of Attempts of Exporting State-Socialist Development Models for the Third World

In cooperation with SFB 1199.

Location: Leipzig

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20.10.2022, 09:00 -
21.10.2022, 18:00


Resources in Use. Visions and Practices in Late Imperial Russia and the Early Soviet Union

Organised in cooperation with Immo Rebitschek (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

Location: GWZO



Making Research Results Accessible


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