The Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin conducts research into the history and society of Islamic regions of the world. The focus is on interdependent regions in the Middle East, Africa, Central, South and Southeast Asia, as well as Europe (including South-South and South-North relations). In the current phase of globalisation, historical understanding of these connections is vitally important. For this reason, researchers from various disciplinary perspectives examine cultural, social, political, and economic processes since the 18th century. ZMO also conducts research on the production of knowledge about Muslim societies.
Collaboration between history, Islamic studies, and ethnology, as well as political science, literary and cultural studies, linguistics and other disciplines, opens the borders traditionally separating regional and disciplinary fields of knowledge. ZMO researchers draw on archival work and empirically substantiated studies based on a broad range of languages, sources, and regional knowledge. The Centre also cooperates closely with researchers from the regions and promotes exchange between science and other forms of knowledge production.
The ZMO’s basic research contributes to a deeper understanding of current problems. Through a wide range of public formats for knowledge transfer, the Centre strives for a broad social impact with its research. Moreover, research results are shared and discussed in the regions under study at ZMO. Thus, ZMO contributes to a close connection between theory and practice as well as a differentiated view of Muslim worlds.