The conference “What is Western about the West?” focuses on spatio‐temporal practices regarding the production and representation of westernness. Taking critical perspectives, which view the West from the inside and the outside, the nine panels plus keynote address issues of highest political and social relevance. The word “West” is omnipresent and often unquestioned, which implies quite effective and uncritical figures of thought. The goal of the conference is to elaborate a critical reflection on this concept and make these implicit processes explicit. The contemporary crisis of globalization can be interpreted as ideological (or intensional) crisis as well as a cartographic (or extensional) crisis of the concept of the West itself. The conference brings together esearchers from different continents, various disciplines and points of view, which bring forth different ideological chronologies and cartographies of the “West”. They work through the West’s past and present, also retracing lines of development, which give hints about its future.