CETREN was launched at the University of Göttingen in April 2013. Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), CETREN fosters collaborations between area studies and disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to contribute to the production of critical “place-based” knowledge in Asia and Europe. Under the thematic rubric of “The Politics of the New”, CETREN scholars engage with one of the most enduring themes of modernity: the idea of newness and change; the belief that every moment is characterised by unprecedented social flux and churning, and that every generation bears witness to the emergence of a new world. Through two pilot projects on (1) Secularisms and new religiosities, and (2) Entrepreneurial citizenship, CETREN invites creative exchange on how to work with enduring concepts of “regions” and “areas” and how to understand the dynamic relationship between resilient states, transnational movements, and new urban actors.