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Competence Area IV

Cultures and Societies in Transition


The thematic field “Social-Economic, Cultural and Political Transformation of the Global South” is part of the  University of Cologne’s overall institutional strategy. It consists of the “Global South Studies Center” (GSSC), founded in 2014, that forms its key profile area and which is in turn embedded in the wider Competence Area IV “Cultures and Societies in Transition” (CA IV).



The Competence Area IV supports research on a broad spectrum of topics and themes related to societal transformation, especially interdisciplinary approaches to current key challenges such as sustainability, digitization, urbanization and cultural diversity. Support is organised around two funding lines for workshops and cooperation and complemented by an annual academic event (CA IV Forum). Information on the funding lines can be found here. Information on the annual forum can be found here.


Themes of joint activities

  • key challenges of transformation and transition (sustainability, digitization, urbanization, cultural diversity)
  • methodological concerns of comparative interdisciplinary work
  • mobility and migration
  • adaptation, resilience and collapse
  • transformation of societies, cultures and livelihoods
  • identity, demographic change and citizenship
  • ecological and social dynamics, global environmental change
  • teacher education and citizen science


Information for researchers at the University of Cologne

If you are a researcher at the University of Cologne and work on issues relevant to questions of cultures and societies in transition, the CA IV provides a platform for generating cooperation within the university and beyond, especially with or in preparation for cooperative initiatives with the GSSC. It provides logistic and financial support for academic events such as conferences, workshops and lectures in order to link research topics of the GSSC with related activities elsewhere.


Contact Details

Competence Area IV
Cultures and Societies in Transition
c/o Global South Studies Center
50923 Cologne


Jun.-Prof.  Dr. Roman Bartosch (Sprecher)

Dr. Meike Meerpohl (Koordinatorin)
Telefon: +49 (0) 221-470 76649