Doktoranden am Lehrstuhl GCS

Brinkmann, Joachim, M.A.

For his Ph.D., he examines the political economy of Chinese stock markets, using a political steering theory approach adapted to Xi Jinping’s governing philosophy of “Top-level Design” that incorporates concepts and insights from a range of academic disciplines, notably finance, political science, sociology, history, and Chinese studies. His research focuses on identifying and analyzing the government’s key modes of political steering by which it governs, regulates, and intervenes in the stock market. In addition, the research places a strong emphasis on the role of market participants, including actors such as institutional and retail investors, and how the government seeks to influence their behavior.


Guo, Qingye, M.A.
Qingye Guo is working on her project "Migration Politics and Migration Management in Contemporary China", which focuses on international labour migration to China and the ongoing reform of China's immigration regimes. It aims to examine what factors have driven the reforms and how immigration regimes are shaped by citizenship, identity and international norms.


Heffer, Abbey, M.A.
Abbey’s research focuses on how diverse social actors express their interests and get what they want under Chinese authoritarianism. Her research centres on local policy experimentation and the new context of ‘experimentation under pressure’ which has emerged under Xi Jinping. Preliminary case studies have thus far focused on foreign investment policy and her planned PhD project investigates the protection of labour rights, social policy, and how experimentation intersects with other feedback channels between the regime and society—specifically popular protest.


Lee, Judy, M.A.

Political persecution in the wake of the 2019 Hong Kong protests has spawned a new Hong Kong exile community in the nearby island nation of Taiwan. Judy Lee’s project explores how this group of highly politicized people extends their political concern into a broader struggle for identity through everyday practices, particularly the use of the Cantonese language.

Markert, Vivien, M.A.
Her research project analyzes the Sinicization of Islam in China. It examines shifting academic, political and public discourses on Islam and how the ‘Xinjiang Model’ now also affects the Hui ethnic minority, who so far have been considered to be China’s “Model Muslims”. Through the lens of Critical Security Studies, the thesis looks at the Sinicization of Islam as part of an ongoing securitization process, taking place within discourse and the Sinicization of everyday Islamic practices.

Meng, Ye, M.A.
Her research focuses on the intersection of law and politics, Chinese judicial politics, and the CCP's regime legitimacy and ruling capacity. Her PhD project examines the local implementation of China's current judicial reform measures and its effects on the authoritarian resilience of the party-state. 

Song, Xiance, M.A.
His research tries to make sense of China’s policy process in the Xi Jinping era. By introducing the case of Business Environment Evaluation and comparing its execution in two provinces, he examines how central policy guidelines have been implemented and adapted to local conditions. Inspired by the contribution of political steering theory, this research further focuses on discerning underlying steering modes and assessing policy effectiveness. Through this analysis, his research investigates the shift from “crossing the river by feeling the stones” to “top-level design”, asking to what degree has China’s policy process changed at the local level? In the recentralization context, could curtailed local autonomy still mean local policy effectiveness and ensure the resilience of the system? On the one hand, the center still leaves much space for local implementation by intention, as a result implementation outcomes vary across localities; on the other, under the shadow of the top-level design, local agents have to find a way to balance between upper demands and actual conditions.

Yu, Kouyu, M.A. 
Generally speaking, her research interest is in Mainland China’s political system and its rural policies. For her doctoral thesis, she is mainly focusing on the latest transformation of the village-level administrative institutions, concentrating on the relations between party, governmental, and social actors which are involved in this process.

Zhivkov, Sascha, M.A.
For his PhD project, Sascha Zhivkov investigates the implementation of economic reform policy under the conditions of 'top-level design' in the Xi Jinping administration, using the example of the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone. Fieldwork involves interviews with local cadres and Taiwanese investors specifically targeted by the zone.

Zhou, Shunzi, M.A.
After approaching two terms of Xi Jinping-led leadership, a top-down hierarchical institution has been re-established in China through regrouping administrative structures, launching the anti-corruption drive and revitalising ideological controls. Though local governments have made great efforts to show obedience and loyalty to the centre (at least ostensibly), it is still too early to conclude that Xi’s reform has effectively improved the integration of local bureaucratic systems and the steering capacity of the state. Notably, environmental governance has always under-performed due to the shortage of substantial political pressures and beneficial incentives. Investigating the policy process of household waste management in the City T of Province L, this project intends to appraise the implementation effectiveness of environmental policies in both urban and rural areas from 2019 to 2022, according to the toolkit of political steering theory, endeavouring to furnish knowledge of a re-calibrating policy-process and central-local relations in China since the ambitious political reform of Xi Jinping began.


Ehemalige Doktoranden
Ahlers, Anna (abgeschlossen im Februar 2013)
Beckershoff, André (abgeschlossen im April 2021)
Chen, Liyi (abgeschlossen im Juni 2021)
Hsieh, Ek-hung
Lindemann, Björn (abgeschlossen im Februar 2013)
Meyer-Clement, Elena (abgeschlossen im Februar 2013)
Plümmer, Franziska (abgeschlossen im November 2019)
Sheu, Jyh-Shyang
Wang, Hung-Jen (abgeschlossen im Juli 2012)