Co-Founders

Sarah Eaton is Professor of Transregional China Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin. She is interested in the study of contemporary Chinese politics and political economy from comparative and transregional perspectives.

Genia Kostka is Professor of Chinese Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on digital transformation, local governance, and environmental politics. She is particularly interested in how digital technologies are integrated into local decision-making and governance structures in China. Kostka has been awarded an ERC Grant (2020-2025) to study local experiments on governing with big data and AI in China.

Members

Sigrun Abels is the Director of the TU Berlin Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (China Center, CCST) – an interdisciplinary research institute for Science and Technology in China. Dr. Abels is a sinologist, social & political scientist and expert in media studies as well as science policy on China. She is also the managing director of the CDHK consortium (Sino-German Institute for Postgraduate Studies, Tongji University) at the TU Berlin.

Anna L. Ahlers is leading the Lise Meitner research group “China in the Global System of Science” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Her previous work on rural development and municipal pollution control in China provided inspiration for one of her current projects that studies the inclusion of scientific expertise and analyses in local policy-making. Trained in sinology and political science, and with a big weakness for sociological theory, she is also interested in comparative studies of functional differentiation, political inclusion, and modern authoritarianism.

Tania Becker, PhD, studied art history and comparative literature at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and afterwards Chinese history, philosophy, and culture at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. Her research interests include the philosophical Daoism, hospice care in China today, contemporary Chinese art, and since 2016 innovation and AI in China. She works and teaches at the Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (CCST) at the Technische Universität Berlin.

Maria Bondes is a sinologist and Senior Lecturer at the Institute for Near Eastern and East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg and teaches in the Elite Master’s Program “Standards of Decision-Making Across Cultures”. Before she was a guest lecturer at the Institute of Chinese Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin (substitute for Prof. Genia Kostka) and a research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)’s Institute for Asian Studies in Hamburg. Her research centers on state-society relations, public participation, contentious politics and environmental governance in China, with a focus on environmental contention.

Daniel Fuchs is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin. He studied Chinese Studies and Political Science at the University of Vienna, and holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London. His research focuses on migration, labour relations and industrial policy in China and the global South.

Bettina Gransow is Associate Professor at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. Her research foci include Chinese migrants’ agency and the migration-urbanization nexus; China’s infrastructure strategy and social safeguard policies of Multilateral Development Banks; and the production of knowledge in Chinese sociology.

Sabrina Habich-Sobiegalla is Professor at the Institute of Chinese Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests include social and economic development in the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan with a special focus on rural areas, state-society relations, industrial and resource governance and science and technology studies.

Xinhui  Jiang (蒋心慧) is Assistant Professor at Nanjing University, China and her research examines gender and politics, local elections, representation, and interjurisdictional relations in China. Before joining NJU,  she worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Freie University Berlin, Germany.

 

Katja Levy is Associate Professor in political science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Before that she was Junior Professor for Chinese Politics and Law at the FU Berlin. In her research, she is interested in comparative perspectives on the third sector in China and elsewhere and in China’s foreign relations, particularly with the EU. She is author of “Charity with Chinese Characteristics” (Edward Elgar, 2020) and editor of “Still a century of corporatism?” (Nomos, 2021).

Elena Meyer-Clement is associate professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Until 2021, she was assistant professor and vice-director of the Graduate  School of East Asian Studies (GEAS) at Freie Universität Berlin. She has an MA in Chinese Studies and Political Science from the University  of Hamburg and a doctorate from the University of Tübingen. She is the author of “Party Hegemony and Entrepreneurial Power. Institutional Change in the Film and Music Industries” (2016). Her current research focuses on urbanization processes in rural and semi-urban regions.

Wiebke Rabe is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) at the University of Bremen. Her resarch focuses on the domestic drivers of China’s international relations and the politics of global resources. Before joining the University of Bremen, Wiebke was an Assistant Professor at the Department of China Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and a Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Chinese Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. She holds a doctorate in political science from the Hertie School and is author of the book “China’s Provinces Go Global: Internationalization under Guided Autonomy” (2023, Routledge). Her research has appeared in journals such as Energy Policy, theReview of International Political EconomyThe China Quarterly and the Journal of Contemporary Asia. Wiebke covers a range of methodological approaches which include fieldwork, survey and documentary analysis.

Ágota Révész, sinologist, works on an interdisciplinary project aiming at „China competence” at the Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China, Technische Universität Berlin. She is also coordinator for the Working Group „Public diplomacy and knowledge production” of CHERN (China-in-Europe Research Network). Her current research focus is EU-China relations, Chinese soft power and Chinese media.

Cheryl Mei-ting Schmitz is an anthropologist specialising in economic and epistemological relations between China and the African continent. She completed an ethnographic study of Chinese business practices in post-war Angola, and is currently tracing the development of African Studies in China as part of the Lise Meitner Research Group “China in the Global System of Science” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Her recent publications have appeared in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, the Made in China Journal, and American Anthropologist.

Biao Xiang 项飙 is Director of the Department ‘Anthropology of Economic Experimentation’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany, and has worked on migration in China, India and other parts of Asia. His latest book 自己作为方法 (Self as Method, co-authored with Wu Qi) was ranked the Most Impactful Book 2020 in China. His work has been translated into Japanese, French, Korean, Spanish, German and Italian.

Gunter Schubert is Professor of Greater China Studies at the Department of Chinese Studies and an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Political Science, University of Tübingen. He is also the founder and director of the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT) at this university and holds a position as Associate Research Professor at the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies (GEAS), Freie Universität Berlin. His research covers local governance and policy implementation in the PRC, the reform of China’s private sector and state-business relations, cross-strait political economy with a focus on Taiwanese entrepreneurs operating in China, and Taiwan and Hong Kong domestic politics. Recently, he has begun to analyze China’ foreign policy as a manifestation of imperiality. Prof. Schubert conducts regular fieldwork in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has published extensively in English, German, French and Chinese.

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