The department of International Political Economy of East Asia (IPEEA) dedicates its research activities to a wide range of fields in EU-China and EU-Asia relations. From the identification and analysis of actors in politics, economy and society to transnational contexts of globalisation, diverse research groups and projects have emerged.
Through participation in international joint projects, such as the Youth Innovation Competition on Global Governance (YICGG), organised by the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, or within the framework of the EU-funded Jean Monnet Network on Strategies for Promoting Europe-Asia Connectivity (SPEAC), opportunities have repeatedly been created to actively involve the young scientists.
Interdisciplinary and international cooperation between scientists and institutions form a core component of research at the department.
The research project focuses on Chinese involvement in North European Seaports. Its objective is an in-depth examination of the Chinese-involved ports in Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium and Hamburg and Jade-Weser in Germany. The research forms part of a book project on “Chinese Seaports in Europe and the Americas” edited by Jean-Marc F. Blanchard, Executive Director of the Mr. & Mrs. S.H. Wong Center for the Study of Multinational Corporations.
Chinese Involvement in North European Seaports: The Cases of Belgium and Germany”, in: Jean-Marc Blanchard (ed.) (2023), Chinese overseas ports in Europe and the Americas: Understanding Smooth and Turbulent Seas, Routledge, forthcoming.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick
After Xi Jinping took office as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, political reform and development efforts in Chinese sports have increased significantly. These developments in the Xi Jinping era have been accompanied by a number of emotionally charged and contentious interactions between Chinese political and foreign sports actors that have attracted relatively high levels of attention both in and outside the PRC in recent years. Sports diplomacy studies such interactions. It is a relatively new discipline dealing with a very old phenomenon.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Ilker Gündoğan
This project investigates how different actors in East Asia and Europe tackle the issue of the return of geopolitics in international relations. With the decline of the US hegemony, new economic, political and ideological divides began to emerge. The project traces and compares the development of different approaches – from Japan’s “New Capitalism” under the Kishida administration to the REPower EU Strategy – and explores potential avenues for the (re)building of international connectivity in a sustainable way.
Principal Investigator: Diana Schnelle
As digitalisation sweeps across economies and societies, governments are developing a deeper understanding of the value and potential power of digital data. Data is a driver of economic growth that increases the competition among numerous actors that tests existing notions of power structures, sovereignty, and security. Data governance has become a contested political space shaped by diverging interests, norms, and values. This research project, therefore, aims to explore the European Union’s and Asian countries’ data governance models.
Principal Investigator: Mireia Paulo
Power shifts, insecurity in energy supply and distribution, global supply chain reliability, and other topics highlight a dynamic development in world markets and between countries. Recently, nothing is more pressing than discussing energy issues linked to climate change and security. Therefore, energy security is a highly prioritized agenda for not only the European Union (EU) but the People´s Republic of China as well. This project approaches the conceptualization of energy security and its implementation into policies and practice, especially regarding foreign energy policy in third countries. One focus lies on the Central Asian region as being in the middle of Europe and China with new arising actors from the south in the region. It scrutinizes the impact and influence of different actors and their interests in foreign energy security policies as well as the cooperation abilities of regional partner countries.
Principal Investigator: Johanna G.B. Rust
The research project aims to reveal income disparities in international trade by using newly developed indices and exploring different role conceptions. It investigates how interactions between different actors influence socio-economic factors using constructivist and deconstructivist approaches. The research work applies both quantitative and qualitative methods embedded in international political economy, international trade theory, and role theory. The focus is on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and their significant others, aiming to provide explanations for socio-economic disparities in foreign trade and peculiarities in relation to East Asia, (inter)regional integration and globalization.
Principal Investigator: Daniel Köllner
Climate change is currently one of the most challenging international issues. With its fast-growing emissions, the aviation sector has become a major contributor to climate change. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to foster the global effort in reducing these emissions. The research project includes a comparative case study regarding the different stances of China and the EU towards the reduction of international aviation emissions, which so far have mainly been reflected in their divergences on the two existing market-based measures (MBMs) for addressing global emissions from the aviation sector, namely the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
Principal Investigators: Prof. Dr. Bo Yan & Duong Thi Thuy Mai
The research project aims to explore the issues of Eurasian connectivity in a constantly changing environment and growing challenges to ensure connectivity in general. The study examines existing and new/alternative transport routes, risks and bottlenecks in the development of transport infrastructure, problems and prospects for the development of connectivity. Special attention is paid to the technological support of connectivity (transportation technology, digital infrastructure, payments settlement, among others).
Principal Investigator: Olexandr Pidchosa
E-commerce in China accounts for more than 50% of worldwide retail sales on the internet. According to the General Administration of Customs P.R.C., in 2020, the total import and export value of cross-border e-commerce reached 2366 hundred million Euro, an increase of 31.1% on a comparable basis. At the same time, China is the largest trading partner of the EU, and the EU is the second largest trading partner of China, in 2021, China-EU trade value reached 745300 million Euro. Despite these figures, trade barriers exist, particularly related to the digital economy. This research project aims at conducting empirical research. It explores how different actors’ interests shape cross-border e-commerce between the EU and China.
Principal Investigators: Weili Huang & Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick & Mireia Paulo
In September 2020, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick was awarded a Jean Monnet Chair by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme. The funding enables the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), the Faculty of East Asian Studies, and the Department of International Political Economy of East Asia to intensify EU-related teaching and research activities, and to also actively contribute to the study of EU-Asia relations.