The core research emphases within the PhD programs „The New Europe“ and „East-Central Europe in transnational perspective“ are the specifics of East-Central Europe in its regional development after 1989 that Donald Rumsfeld intended to address with the polemic catchphrase “The New Europe”. The usage of the phrase underlies the realization that the region developing in the aftermath of ‘89 is not simply an extension of Europe; under the impression of global changes and internal shifting of weight, it can rather be looked at as an ongoing transformation into a “New Europe” whose scientific and political contentions with itself lie in the focus of interest. Hence, the main research areas of the two programs concentrate on complex fields such as cultural transfers within regional and supra-regional relations of East-Central Europe, regional modernization and transformation processes based on transnational interactions, as well as the consideration of interrelationships between national identity constructions and transnational entanglements as historical processes in the East-Central European region.

The research seminar serves as an introductory course taking up the core themes of the PhD programs and, by offering interdisciplinary accesses to the named fields of research, helping participants to clarify and define their own approaches as well as to put their dissertation projects in a broader theoretical context.
Semester: WT 2012/13