Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century
Field research pictures
Women selling dry fish at a market in Palghar, Maharashtra, India.
Anne Erita Venåsen Berta
Event in a generational family firm, Denmark.
Rose pickers in Isparta, Turkey.
Shoemaker in his workshop in Konya, Turkey.
Believers pray in a procession of the 'Our lady of the Snow' monastery in Szeged, Hungary.
Annual Thadingyut festival at a Pagoda in Pathein, Myanmar.
Cleaning the church in Holy Trinity St.Sergius Lavra, Russia
Workers in a family owned sport clothing factory in Shishi, China.
Small shop for sewing supplies in Halle, Germany.
Incense at Sensōji, Tokyo.
Old Zastava’s industrial complex, Kragujevac.
Secession Architecture at the Main Square in Kiskunhalas.
The research group and the point of departure
The project “Realising Eurasia: civilisation and moral economy in the 21st century” (REALEURASIA) was launched on 1st July 2014. After a year of preparation, the 7 Ph.D. students spent the academic year 2015-6 carrying out field research in various cities across Eurasia. Eurasia is understood in the classical sense of global historians as the super-continent which embraces the whole of Europe and the whole of Asia. In addition to core funding provided by the European Research Council (ERC Grant Agreement n.340854), two Ph.D. projects in Northern and Central Europe are supported by the MPI.
This comparative project is primarily rooted in the theories and methods of economic anthropology, but it also sets out to renew links to historical sociology and adjacent fields. The framework is "civilisation" in the universal spirit of Marcel Mauss, with Eurasia-specific inflections drawn primarily from Max Weber’s work on the “world religions”. The research team will synthesise the concepts of moral economy (Thompson) and Wirtschaftsethik (Weber) and operationalise them at multiple levels within the civilisational frame. The project combines detailed ethnographic investigations of family businesses, in towns selected to ensure structural comparability, with attention to the embeddedness of economy in religion, polity, and society as they have evolved together in the longue durée of the Eurasian past.