Jean Monnet Chair "The International Political Economy of EU-Asia Relations" (IPEEAR) 2016-2019

In September 2016, 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 teaching and research activities and to organize new initiatives. 

The Jean Monnet Chair IPEEAR promotes international and interdisciplinary exchange between scholars and provides information on topics of European Integration to a broader public. Moreover, IPEEAR will foster international and interdisciplinary exchange between policymakers, scholars, and wider civil society by contributing with information on EU-Asia affairs and integration developments in Europe and Asia. Several activities will be conducted under this chair (see below). The activities will bring together researchers, practitioners, and civil society from various sectors to speak about and discuss recent developments and challenges to the EU´s role in Asia. The aim of all the activities is to created public interest in questions of European Studies in general and EU-Asia relations in particular and stimulate new and creative ideas and concepts. 

Activities IPEEAR

The project IPEEAR aims at promoting excellence in teaching and research in EU studies. It provides an innovative approach to EU studies by focusing on the relationship of the external dimension of European integration and the external dimension of regional cooperation and integration in East Asia and beyond. 

The Jean Monnet Chair lays the foundation for excellent teaching by promoting research activities. It aims at enabling RUB and the Faculty of East Asian Studies in particular to explicitly intensify teaching and research activities with regard to the role of the EU in Asian affairs as well as to organize new teaching and research activities. Most courses on European Integration at the Faculty are led by Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick. 

So far students do not automatically come into contact with EU studies. Therefore, the project´s intention is to enrich undergraduates as well as graduate teaching activities at the Faculty in multiple ways. Apart from providing additional funds for the planning of a lecture series, a conference, and a workshop the Jean Monnet Chair is to provide the foundation for excellent EU-focused teaching by promoting research activities, exchange and networking as well as the publication of research results. In addition, the proposal fosters the development of existing and new teaching and debating activities by creating "virtual classrooms", using e-learning tools and the pupils´ lab. 

  • Regionalismus und Interregionalismus: Theorie und Praxis, WiSe 2019/20
  • The European Union´s Relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), WiSe 2019/20
  • The Role of Inter-regionalism and Integration in the EU´s Foreign Policy: The Case of Asia, SoSe 2019
  • The European Union and East Asia, SoSe 2019
  • The Asia-Europe Meeting: Actors, Interests and Issues, WiSe 2018/19
  • The European Union´s Relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), WiSe 2018/19
  • The New EU-China Security Relations, SoSe 2018
  • The European Union and East Asia, SoSe 2018
  • The Role of Inter-regionalism and Regional Integration in the EU´s Foreign Policy: The Case of Asia, WiSe 2017/18
  • The European Union and East Asia, WiSe 2017/18
  • The European Union´s Relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), SoSe 2017
  • The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM): Actors, Interests and Issues, SoSe 2017
  • EU-China Security Relations, WiSe 2016/17
  • The European Union and China, WiSe 2016/17

The Pupils´ Lab provides a platform to acquaint pupils as well as teachers with the topic of European integration, its external dimension, and especially the nexus of economic and political affairs in EU-Asia relations. 


  • In the context of Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick´s Jean Monnet Chair, the Department of International Political Economy of East Asia and the Aflried-Krupp Pupils´ Lab of Ruhr-Universität Bochum are co-organizing a project on "Political and economic relations between the EU and East Asia in a globalized world". The project deals with the relevance of East Asian states for economic trends and policy making in the EU as well as with the political and economic consequences of EU developments for East Asia. Additionally, the Pupils´ Lab provides links to High School curricula regarding subjects such as Social Sciences/Economics or History. The target group is pupils in grades 10 and higher. The first section takes place on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 from 09:00 to 14:00 o´clock. 


  • On Wednesday, 24th January 2018, a second session of the Alfried-Krupp Pupils´ Lab is taking place. Around 26 pupils of the Neues Gymnasium Bochum will have the opportunity to gain insights into the political and economic relations between the EU and East Asia. The presentations focus on the relevance of East Asian states for economic developments and policy making in the EU as well as on political and economic consequences of developments in East Asia for the EU. Climate change will be another important topic to look at. Additionally, the Department of Chinese Studies provides the pupils with a brief introduction on Chinese language. 

"East Asia as a Partner of the EU in Global Governance": By identifying East Asia as a new partner the workshop addresses important questions of actorness, role conceptions, and forms and venues for the EU cooperation with East Asia. It thus takes an innovative approach with regard to theory (role theory) and subject (East Asia as a potential partner for the EU). 

Please find the videos of the workshop HERE

The Bochum Jean Monnet lecture series is to offer a broad perspective on current issues in EU-Asia affairs. It targets policymakers, civil society as well as academia. Academics, practitioners, think-tankers, and policymakers from Germany, Brussels, and international organizations will be invited to provide topical insights and analysis of relevant economic and political developments with regard to the EU, Asia, and EU-Asia affairs.

  1. "THE EU & ASIA IN A CHANGING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT" (Prof. Bates Gill), 8 April 2019

To watch the video, please click HERE.

The two-day conference on "Creating a Eurasian Space: New Connectivity Between the EU and Asia" aims to identify the main political and economic factors as well as structural forces that drive regional, inter-regional and trans-regional cooperation as well as integration within and between Europe and Asia. Ongoing changes and challenges to Europe´s relations with Asia will be the focus of the conference that takes place at RUB from 8 – 9 April 2019. In five panels academics, policymakers, think-tankers, and practitioners will address key issues in current EU-Asia relations. The underlying assumption of the conference is that a „Eurasian Space“ is developing in the external relations of the EU with Asia. Since China started to promote its project of the New Silk Road in 2013 the impact of this „Belt and Road Initiative“ is increasingly felt in Europe, Africa and around the world. The conference will tackle the following questions: Given the current state of play, do Euro-Asian affairs hold more potential for convergence or divergence? Do Europeans, and Asians, need to develop a new understanding of EU-Asia relations that transcends the traditional bilateral or multilateral approach by including Eurasian geopolitical and geo-economic factors? What are the implications of these new structural developments for Germany, EU foreign policy-making, and EU-Asia relations? Prof. Dr. Bates Gill, Macquarie University, Sydney and Chatham House, London, will deliver a lecture on the first conference day from 09:45-10:45. Prof. Gill will speak on „The EU and Asia in a Changing Global Environment“ and provide the intellectual stimulus for the following international Jean Monnet Conference. This inaugural lecture is part of the Bochum Jean Monnet Lecture Series.

Panel 1: The EU´s Approach to Eurasian Connectivity

  • Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick
  • Reinhard Bütikofer
  • Friedolin Strack
  • Prof. Dr. Françoise Nicolas

Panel 2: Connecting South Asia

  • Mireia Paulo
  • Prof. Dr. Jörn Dosch
  • Dr. Nurul Isnaeni
  • Dr. Rahul Mishra

Panel 3: Perspectives from the Indo-Pacific

  • Prof. Dr. Jörn-Carsten Gottwald
  • Prof. Dr. Ummu Salma Bava
  • Prof. Dr. Bates Gill
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Pascha

Panel 4: Re-Shaping Eurasia - China´s Belt and Road Initiative

  • Julia Schwerbrock
  • Prof. Dr. Su Changhe
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Nele Noesselt
  • Prof. Dr. Marc Lantaigne

Panel 5: Russia and Eurasian Connectivity

  • Diana Schnelle
  • Prof. Dr. Neil Collins
  • Dr. Andrey Krivorotov
  • Prof. Dr. Oleksandre Pidchosa

In addition to Prof. Dr. Bersick individual work, the IPEEAR implemented several extra activities that brought the opportunity to publish and disseminate the results of the research conducted. Three publications reflecting the outcome of the workshop and conference were published:

  • One of the publications of Prof. Dr. Sebastian Bersick also referred to "The Young Eurasian Forum": Looking Back and Looking Ahead: The ASEM Education Process - History and Vision, 2018.
  • A special issue in the East Asian Community Review was published as Vol. 1 in August 2019 and print version in September 2019, Palgrave.