Does globalization make borders porous or remove them completely? Are there any alternatives to such a process? How to orient oneself in a world under the global condition? Given the centrality of the globalization paradigm in our societies, the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” asks such crucial questions to gain a better understanding of our world.

Interlinked with processes of delimitation is a new spatialization of the world, for example with new economic regions emerging, state alliances being forged, production and commodity chains spanning continents, and migration regimes controlling the movement of people. Once established, however, these spatial orders – which are in a perpetual state of rising and falling, coming and going, growing and contracting – are subject to the tensions resulting from the challenges brought about, for instance, by the latest technologies, societal rearrangements as a result of economic or financial crises, or the consequences of, as recently seen, pandemics.

The researchers at the SFB are investigating the negotiation processes underlying these newly emerging spatial orders. Examining long-term developments since the 18th century and comparing the effects of such processes on different continents through multiple research projects, a series of publications focusing on globalization projects, and a range of events, both online and offline, we offer insights into the newly explored spatial formats and spatial orders. To such an end, we combine methods from the social sciences, the humanities, and the many regional studies represented at Leipzig University, from African studies to sinology. As a contribution to the spatial literacy of the 21st century, the overall work of the SFB aims at the systematic description of spatial formats since the late 18th century and at a global and historically informed narrative of the fluctuating, solidifying, and dissolving spatial formats and spatial orders under the global condition.