Chinese Studies

Junior-Professor Dr. Matthias Niedenführ 宁洲明

Junior Professor of Chinese Studies and Business Ethics, Department of Chinese Studies, and Vice-Director of the China Centre Tübingen (CCT)

Academic Career

  • 2016- Vice-Director, China Centre Tübingen (CCT)
  • 2014- Junior Professor of Chinese Studies and Business Ethics, Department of Chinese and Korean Studies, University of Tübingen
  • 2011 PhD Sinology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • 2007-2014 Managing Director of European Centre of Chinese Studies (ECCS), Peking University
  • 2003-2006 Lecturer, Institute of Sinology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • 2002 MA Sinology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Research Focus
Jun. Prof. Niedenführ’s research interests concern business ethics in China and the Chinese diaspora, civil society development in China, political economy of communication (especially the politicization of national histories on TV), national identity construction, regional economic integration and institutional economics in East Asia. His current project focuses on the reception and practical implementation of Western concepts of business ethics such as Corporate Social Responsibility at the national, institutional and individual levels in China and the study of indigenous Chinese approaches, such as the "Confucian Entrepreneur" (rushang 儒商), both in history and contemporary practice. The research distinguishes between institutional approaches (management tools and systems) and individual approaches (self-reflection and character formation). On the basis of qualitative interviews, the connotations and interpretations of shared concepts of business ethics are systematically analyzed.

Major Publications
The monograph Geschichte fern und neu sehen - TV-Serien über historische Führungsfiguren in China [Revising and Televising the Past – TV dramas about historical leaders in China] (published in the series "Neue Chinastudien", edited by Gu Xuewu, Sebastian Heilmann, Michael Lackner and Harro v. Senger, Baden Baden: Nomos, 2012) sheds light on the politicization of the portrayal of historical leadership figures in the national past for contemporary political-educational purposes. The article "The Tug-of-War between Regulatory Interventions and Market Demands in the Chinese Television Industry," in the peer-reviewed journal The Political Economy of Communication 1(1), pp. 90–110 (2013), analyses recent institutional changes in TV censorship in China.

Other Activities
Since April 2016 Matthias Niedenführ has been the Vice-Director of the China Centre Tübingen. CCT is a trans-disciplinary institute of the University of Tübingen, dedicated to fostering awareness of and dialogue about contemporary China and the Chinese diaspora among students and staff of the University of Tübingen and the general public. Together with like-minded young scholars in 2010 he initiated ThinkIN China, a platform for discussion on contemporary China issues, which brings together the foreign community of researchers and students in China.