Europe in World Society

This research area was formulated in 2009 and focuses on the international dimension of regionalism in a comparative perspective and, in particular, on the external relations of the European Union and its role in interregional settings. While European integration is the most visible, most advanced and – in economic terms, but also in terms of the preservation of peace and security – most successful framework for regional integration, its external policy dimension still lacks clarity, coherence and assertiveness, which is characteristic of the EU in other policy fields. This research cluster aims at analyzing Europe’s role, potential and obstructing factors towards its becoming a coherent international actor, and in doing so looks at intra-European as well as national structures and dynamics towards a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP and ESDP), as well as relations towards other regional entities and Europe’s incentives for regional integration in other parts of the world.

Research activities within this area are organized in both collaborative and individual research projects. In 2016, a new three-year research and professionalization project was initiiated (“Between Stability and Transformation: Regional and Transnational Cooperation in Central Asia and between Central Asia and Europe”) at Bielefeld University. This project will include conferences, a seminar series as well as research publications. In addition, several international conference participations, presentations and field research journeys took place in this research area, as for instance the fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan of Dr. Chiara Pierobon on the role of the European Union in promoting development and strengthening civil society in the country.