ERC Advanced Grant awarded to Chris Hann

September 27, 2013

The European Research Council has awarded an Advanced Grant to Chris Hann for his research project “REALEURASIA – Realising Eurasia: Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century”. The funding will exceed 2 million euros over a five-year period. ERC Advanced Grants are designed to allow outstanding researchers to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects that open up new directions in their respective research fields.

REALEURASIA is a multidisciplinary comparative project which draws on classical work in several branches of anthropology and sociology to analyse the civilisational diversity and unity of Eurasia in the early 21st century. The research team will draw together the large literatures on moral economy (Thompson) and Wirtschaftsethik (Weber) and apply these concepts at multiple levels within the framework of civilizational analysis (Arnason). The focus will be on the “world religions” identified by Max Weber a century ago. Ethnographic work will initially be based in a renowned centre of the civilisation, in order to assess the ways in which this heritage is invoked in contemporary processes of identity construction and political legitimation in large, multi-ethnic states. Each fieldworker will then move to a second urban site, less directly marked by the civilizational heritage, to explore the extent to which the civilisation's economic ethic shapes behaviour today. In towns selected to ensure structural comparability, researchers will focus their investigations on a spectrum of family-controlled firms and the domestic group per se. It is hypothesised that, alongside civilisational pluralism, the long-term evolution of Eurasia has established a deep unity across the landmass, with far-reaching social and geopolitical implications.

For the academic year 2013-14 Chris Hann is a Fellow at the Nantes Institute for Advanced Study. REALEURASIA will be formally launched when he returns to Halle in July 2014. Further details concerning doctoral and postdoctoral positions will be posted at this webpage before the end of this year.

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