Realising Eurasia: Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century (REALEURASIA)

Realising Eurasia: Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century (REALEURASIA)

Project funded by the European Research Council in the Seventh Framework Programme (ERC Advanced Grant).

Duration: 01.07.2014 – 30.06.2019

Principal Investigator: Chris Hann
Project coordinator: Lale Yalçın-Heckmann

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.

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