Thematic Research Areas

The research program of the Thematic Network "Remapping the Global South - Teaching, Researching, Exchanging" is structured through an examination of five main Thematic Research Areas:


We are currently witnessing a rapid re-mapping and re-ordering of social, economic and cultural relations in the Global South. Rapid urbanisation processes are linked to major demographic dynamics.

More specifically, the Thematic Network "Remapping the Global South - Teaching, Researching, Exchanging" will address the following:

We have singled out five processes which are crucial for the emergence of an ever more globalised world. These five main Thematic Research Areas are linked to each other and affect themselves in one way or another mutualy.

Rapid urbanisation and efforts to govern movement into cities and within cities are of major concern for governments in the Global South.
Urban developments have immediate effects on the hinterlands. De-agrarisation and conservation are in many ways counterpoints to rapid urbanisation. Former peasants create alternative livelihoods at the fringes of urban agglomerations. The emergence of agro-hubs with highly capital intensive and export orientated agriculture is connected to the rapid growth of urban livelihoods. Mushrooming globalisation is a challenge to the capacity of the state to supply essential public goods. Rapidly changing urban environments are often the breeding grounds for social movements, which often strive for new forms of access rights and participation.
Accelerating forms of mobility see the movement of more and more people, ideas and technologies. New forms of mobility, however, are also connected to new ways of exclusion. These processes contribute to the de-territorialisation but also to the re-territorialisation of communities.

While most of these changes occurred during the last decades in Africa and Asia, in Latin America processes of rapid urbanisation as a consequence of the first wave of globalisation and mass migration, with the concomitant ecological, social and political changes, took place a century ago.