CASE stands for Critical Area Studies for Europe and is an initiative of the European Studies Center at Pitt to expand the understanding of area studies research and training. By drawing on perspectives from post- and decolonial scholarship, entangled histories approaches, and intersectional analysis, the initiative makes a case study out of today's EU-Europe and its policies in order to highlight interdependencies and relationalities, global connections and global perspectives in research, training and teaching in area studies.
With CASE we focus on area studies as such because, at least since the outbreak of the Russian War in Ukraine as a response to the expansion of Europeanization, the need for deep knowledge of the region has been underscored. Yet it has also become clear that old Cold War divisions into East and West and other area studies approaches are obsolete and problematic. Moreover, both historically and in the current world configuration the EU, as one of the largest economies, plays a leading role in global developments. Issues such as climate change, energy production and distribution, security and defense, migration and identity politics are all actively shaped by the EU and impact the dynamics of European integration and European politics as well as global affairs. However, the need for region-specific knowledge confronts the decline in research focusing on areas. The increased emphasis on problems, dynamics and policies that transcend regional and area borders has a challenging time grasping the motivations of local actors. While training in area studies is still relevant, the area studies model in the United States needs a radical update, and the EU constitutes a perfect empirical case for a new model of area studies. Besides being an academic and intellectual endeavor, this project also strives to broaden and deepen training in humanities and social sciences and teaching, learning and research on the EU to meet current economic, scientific, environmental, and social developments, such as expansion of the digital economy, issues of security, climate change, energy distribution, identity politics and populism.
CASE includes two other initiatives: HELMS and IDEAS (see below)
CASE consist of these thematic foci:
- Europe today between Empire and insignificance
- Disinformation and misinformation in Europe and in the US
- Sustainability and circular economy
- Health and Health Ethics
- Security in Europe and beyond
Funding and Partners:
The European Studies Center, funded by a grant from the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence and from the US Department of Education, is partnering with faculty and students from many programs at Pitt to develop and achieve the CASE initiative of reimagining and discussing entangled global European histories, critical legal studies, and critical Europeanization studies. Our partners include Pitt Cyber, Law, History, Engineering, Urban Studies, the Center for Health Ethics and Law, Philosophy, Humanities Engage, the Archive of European Integration, the European Union Studies Association, and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. We are also partnering with several programs outside of Pitt, including Newcastle University, European University Viadrina Frankfurt, the Historical Archive of the European Union in Florence, and the European Culture Research Group at the Council for European Studies.