skip to content

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 and co-funds activities that fall within its thematic domain. These activities include conferences, workshops, panel discussions, public lectures, exhibitions, network meetings and seminars focusing on the Global South and on comparative area studies.


Themes of joint activities

  • methodological concerns of comparison
  • 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


Tasks of the Competence Area IV

The Competence Area IV “Cultures and Societies in Transition” creates links at a cross-faculty and interdisciplinary level to ensure the GSSC’s integration into the wider university. The office of the speaker of the Competence Area facilitates the cooperation between members of the GSSC and other researchers at the university and with the wider public. The aim is to connect research activities of the GSSC with the Competence Area at large, both within the university and internationally.


Information for researchers at the University of Cologne

If you are a researcher at the University of Cologne and work on issues relevant to the Global South:

CA IV provides a platform for generating cooperation within the university and beyond. 

If you are a member of the Global South Studies Center and the University of Cologne and if you want to build up a cooperation in the Competence Area IV:

CA IV 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. 

If you are a student of the University of Cologne or a researcher from another institution:

CA IV regularly publishes details about upcoming events on its website.


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