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Dr Peter Wittmann
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Tel.: +49 341 600 55-174
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Collaborative Research Centre "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition" enters second funding phase

Scientists of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography involved with geographical issues

After its successful evaluation, the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” has entered its second research phase. The SFB investigates how political, economic or legal spaces are socially negotiated and created to provide a framework for processes of globalization. In addition to the University of Leipzig, the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) and the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) are involved in the interdisciplinary research network. The IfL is contributing three projects of its own in the second funding period of the SFB from 2020 to 2024:

In the sub-project "Location Decisions of Innovative Technology Companies for Unusual Places in Central Asia and Africa", IfL researchers will investigate spatial practices and networks of international technology companies in economically less successful regions of the world. By means of case studies, project leader Dr Thilo Lang and his team want to find out what role imaginary spatial orders play in the location decisions and network relationships of such companies. In a previous project focused on Germany, they were able to show that spatial categories such as "center" or "periphery" influence the location decisions of innovative companies far less than previously assumed. Thilo Lang: "We are curious to what extent our findings can be transferred to regions with lower economic performance".

Maps and atlases as media for imagining, establishing and reproducing spatial knowledge under conditions of globalization are the subject of another SFB sub-project of the IfL. By analysing maps of Russia, the Soviet Union and Germany from 1918 to the present day, the researchers around Professor Dr Sebastian Lentz and Dr Jana Moser aim to uncover cross-system continuities as well as changes across the transformation of social systems. To this end, they are examining cartographic forms of expression and analysing the mechanisms that cause maps to shape spatial ideas and images of space like hardly any other medium.

A third sub-project of the IfL in SFB 1199 is based on a detailed analysis of scientific journals of international geography. Project leader Professor Dr Ute Wardenga and her team are investigating the extent to which geographic spatial semantics contributed to the formation and stabilization of spatial formats as well as to changes in spatial orders in the 19th and 20th centuries. With the help of methods they have developed themselves as well as applications from the field of digital humanities, they aim to trace the supranationally predominant types of spatializations as well as their region-specific characteristics over time.


Collaborative Research Centres are long-term research institutions at universities, which are set up for a period of up to twelve years and in which researchers work together in an interdisciplinary research programme. They are financed by the German Research Foundation. The Collaborative Research Centre "Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition" (SFB 1199) was established at the beginning of 2016. Geographers, historians and cultural scientists, Africanists and Americans, Orientalists and Sinologists as well as anthropologists and political scientists cooperate in this interdisciplinary project. The spokesperson of the SFB is Professor Dr Matthias Middell. The historian represents the Centre for Area Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Leipzig.

Further information

On the project "Location decisions of innovative technology companies for unusual locations in Central Asia and Africa":

Dr Thilo Lang
Tel. +49 341 600 55-159

On the project "Maps and atlases as mediators and producers of space (knowledge) under conditions of globalisation":

Dr Jana Moser
Tel. +49 341 600 55-133

On the project "Space semantics of geography in the 19th and 20th centuries:

Prof Dr Ute Wardenga
Tel. +49 341 600 55-110

On the collaborative research centre 1199: