Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

Ph.D. Program “Europe in the Globalized World”

This doctoral program inquires into Europe’s complex roles, self-images, and constructions of alterity in a globalized world. The program’s focus is on twenty-first century global upheavals in an increasingly interconnected and multipolar world.

photograph of the members
Which formula can the relationship world/Europe be described in? (idea: Thomas Weitin)

In what at present are nine research projects, participating doctoral students examine questions of cooperation and conflict, sociocultural identification and exclusion, and rule and violence from historical, legal, cultural, and social-scientific perspectives.

Global shifts of power have meant that Europe’s position in the world is under discussion in a fundamental way. Questions of cooperation and conflict, socio-cultural identification and exclusion, and rule and legitimation are at the center of the program’s research. Thematically projects organized in the program can be understood in terms of borders and contacts: What processes are at play in Europe’s self-constitution through relationships and interconnections with those beyond its borders? Current ideas regarding Europe are examined in the framework of intensified international globalization, with the continent explored conceptually in terms of its real and imagined borders.

Scientific Coordination

Tilmann Heil, D.Phil.
(Un)equal lives of migrants. Comparing, reflecting and embodying processes of social stratification and cultural diversification in a Latin American city

Dr. Estela Schindel
contact person in winter semester 2016/2017
Europas Grenzen durch Meer, Land und Luft. Eine kultursoziologische Untersuchung der Konstruktion des europäischen Selbstbildes, der Alterität und der Verschiebung von Gewalt an die Außengrenzen der EU

A number of thematic, theoretical, and methodological junctures have emerged in the program; these can be subsumed to the following three thematic areas:

Working formats

The doctoral program presently consists of seven doctoral students, (in ethnology/sociology, history, literary studies, and law), two post-doctoral researchers (in social and cultural anthropology and sociology), and a steering group consisting of four professors (in ethnology/cultural anthropology, history, cultural theory, and literary studies).


In the first and third years of the program, scientific retreats of several days are held to promote group cohesion and detailed discussion of the different research projects. 
The first of these meetings took place at the start of the program in May 2013.
Report on the first retreat.

Ph.D. Students

Melanie Brand
Die Wahrheit der Gewalt. Häusliche Gewalt gegenüber Frauen und Identitätspolitik im Kontext transkultureller Beratungspraktiken

Francesco Carloni
Die europäische Entdeckung der beschränkten Staatssouveränität. Die Suche nach außenpolitischer Autonomie im Zeichen des globalen Kalten Krieges. 1967–1973

Corinna Di Stefano
Insular Border Regimes. Constructing, Crossing and Conceiving the EU-Borders in the French Caribbean

Wolfgang Egner
Protektorate. Imperiale Herrschaftsformen seit dem späten 19. Jahrhundert

Larissa Fleischmann
The Politics of Helping Refugees. Citizens' Support between Humanitarianism and Political Activism

Ferdinand Kiesel
Museale Narrative von ‚uns‘ und den ‚Anderen‘. Postkoloniale Museumsanalyse(n) in Deutschland und Südafrika

Katharina Meyer (alumna)
Grenzen und Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten des Souveränitätsprinzips in transnationalen Handelsbeziehungen

Ole Münch
Die soziale Organisation des Lumpenhandels im frühviktorianischen London – migrantische Sozialstrukturen

Philipp Schäfer
Die Regierung von Migration in urbanen Asylregimen

Sarah Schwab
„Gedenke, dass du ein Deutscher bist!“ – Deutsches Leben in Südafrika von 1914 bis in die 60er Jahre

Weekly colloquium

The weekly colloquium offers a framework for discussing texts and fostering cross-disciplinary exchange. In the first summer semester, the thematic focus on identity constructions and regimes of sovereignty was accompanied by discussions of the following themes:

  • Global history
  • Historiography and narrativity
  • Democratic peace
  • Individualism
  • Borders and globalization

In the coming semesters, supplementary discussions will address questions of cosmopolitanism and both the possibilities and expressive horizons of post-colonial/post-national methodologies.

Working groups

Doctoral students discuss basic, project-relevant readings in small peer-review groups. They also address questions and challenges of cross-disciplinary themes and the overall research process.


In the framework of three workshops organized between 2014 and 2016, the program’s participants and invited guests will discuss the first research results and shared theoretical and methodological problems.


  • Tilmann Heil

    8. June 2017

    Dr. Tilmann Heil is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at KU Leuven, Belgium

    As of June 2017, the anthropologist has started his fellowship within the framework of Belgium’s [PEGASUS]² Incoming programme. He was scientific coordinator of the Ph.D. Program “Europe in the Globalized World.”

  • fenced entrance to a hotspot

    7. December 2016

    Last redeployments of the EU border regime

    A glance into the Greek Islands hotspots. Personal report by Estela Schindel, based mostly on field diary notes of her recent research stay in Leros and Kos.

  • 14. July 2015

    Cooperation established

    The Ph.D. Program's thematic area “Migration and Borders in Times of Increased Mobility“ and the TRANSFORmIG project (head: Prof. Magdalena Nowicka, Humboldt University Berlin), have established a scientific cooperation with the overarching goal of advancing the theory on complex societies and...

  • cover

    4. December 2014

    New release: Space and the Memories of Violence. Edited by Estela Schindel and Pamela Colombo

    Landscapes of Erasure, Disappearance and Exception
    Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2014

  • 22. October 2013

    The place beneath the pines

    Notes from an EU external border (in days of media refugee-hype). Estela Schindel visited Pikpa on Lesbos, an open door place for immigrants