Comparison is among the most frequently used approaches in humanities and social sciences. In recent decades, comparative approaches have been subjected to continuous methodological debates. In particular in a global context, research has sought to integrate comparative methods with research on transfer, connection, and entanglement. At the same time, researchers have started paying more attention to social, economic, cultural and other inequalities. This has also prompted the question of how comparative analysis in area studies may consider apparent asymmetries without equalising or reifying.
The GWZO Annual Conference 2021 makes the social, cultural and economic margins the focus of comparative analysis. By decentring comparative perspectives, this interdisciplinary conference seeks to discuss new directions in comparative research on and with Eastern Europe. The presentations connect to current efforts in global and area studies to integrate multiple perspectives, consider dynamic frameworks, and highlight spatial overlaps of actors, objects and ideas. This can contrast, complement, conflict with or undermine the more widely known accounts that have been disseminated from the centre.