About the Research Network
The Research Network for Latin America Ethnicity, Citizenship, Belonging is an association of historical, anthropological, cultural studies and sociological institutions of the Universities of Cologne, Bonn, Bielefeld, Münster and Hanover (see Structure). Within the context of interdisciplinary cooperations, scholars of humanities, social sciences and area studies employ the concepts of ethnicity, citizenship and belonging to scientifically describe the historically specific and context-dependent forms of symbolic boundaries, ideas of order and belonging in various regions of Latin America and under circumstances of transnational migration (see Research and approach).
In 2010-2014 the objective of this interdisciplinary network was the structural reinforcement and extension of the institutional framework of research on Latin America in the field of area studies and the cooperative development of innovative methodological and theoretical approaches. The research has been internationally implemented through regular meetings and workshops, and is made accessible to the scientific community through a number of publications (see Events).
In 2014-2016 the focus is on the practical implementation of the key concepts in socio-political contexts and application of the results to practical experiences and problems. We have been investigating in which way the socio-scientific concepts of ethnicity and belonging are used in socio-political and educational practices and what the consequences are. Further focuses are on how essentialisms are constructed, how policies of identity are used, how citizenship is articulated, claimed and emplaced and how mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion are created or reinforced.
This regional expert network is a competent contact institution for local and foreign academics, development cooperation institutions, politicians and the public in general, offering access to differentiated expertise in historical and current controversial conflicts in Latin American development cooperation, politics, economy and culture (see Staff).