ZEF major partner in new project: Crossroads Asia. Conflict, Migration, Development.

February 02, 2011.  

ZEF is going to be a major partner in the Crossroads Asia competence network, to be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) from 2011 to 2014. Crossroads Asia embraces the area from eastern Iran to western China and from the Aral Sea to northern India. Crossroads Asia is understood as a multiple entwined space of action, constituted by the cultural and social border-transgressing interactions of its inhabitants. Crossroads Asia is hereby following a novel, “post-area studies” approach.


The project works on the initial assumption that this region cannot be understood using a state-centric approach - considering the overlapping violent conflicts such as those in Afghanistan, Kashmir or the Ferghana valley and the intensive migration movements within this region and beyond. Instead, the project hypothesis is that we have to follow the flows and networks of its people to better understand the social dynamics of the region. This is why mobility has been chosen as the overarching perspective of this project. Thus the “lens” of mobility puts the focal aspects of conflict, migration and development into a causal relationship.


The Crossroads Asia competence network consists of seven German universities and research institutes. Two institutes of the University of Bonn are involved in the network: The Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies and ZEF, which will host the network’s project office. The competence network will generate individual scientific studies under the umbrella of Crossroads Studies.

Press information in German



Conrad Schetter

PD Dr. Conrad Schetter