Funded Projects

BMBF-funded projects

Innovation in East Asia – IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies

At the IN-EAST School, which is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for a period of seven years, the phenomenon of “Innovation in East Asia” is being researched from a multidisciplinary perspective. This approach is considered absolutely necessary, because technical and social innovations can only be created and implemented if the social and political framework conditions allow this. The research focuses on overarching questions about the future of life in the large metropolitan areas and new mobility concepts.

Parallel to this research programme, innovative forms of training of junior academic staff in regional studies are also tested within the Advanced School. The research activities have been carried out in six research groups, in which young scientists at junior professor/postdoc level work together with doctoral students on these topics. The young researchers are overseen by a team of experienced professors from the five participating faculties of UDE (Humanities, Social Sciences, Engineering, Economics, Mercator School of Management). After its successful evaluation, the IN-EAST School is now being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for two more years. In the second funding phase, the young researchers, now organised into postdoc working groups, will additionally analyse more transnational phenomena of innovation development in Asia and investigate how innovations “travel” across borders (travelling institutions).  The research programme was concluded with a conference at the Japanese-German Center in Berlin in 2019. ( In a transfer phase, the results will now be presented to and discussed with urban and regional planners in a series of five conferences (Travelling Conferences on Urban Transformations in Industrial Regions) in Japan, Korea, China, the USA and Germany in cooperation with the the Competence Field Metropolitan Research of the UA Ruhr university alliance. 

Funding period: 2013–2017, 2017–2019, 2019–2020

PI: Prof. Markus Taube (director) and others

Innovative Forms of Democratic Participation: Deliberations in a Japanese and German Comparison

Within the process of articulating and influencing the civic will in political decision-making, innovations are of great importance – especially in times of growing political discontent and major challenges for democracies. In this project, Dr. Momoyo Hüstebeck is investigating new forms of civic participation in a German-Japanese comparison. 

This project is also an example of the successful promotion of junior academic staff. The project leader worked as a junior group leader at the IN-EAST Advanced School, and with the support of the “Programme for the promotion of outstanding junior academic staff” proposed this first own project at UDE.

Funding period: 2018–2021

PI: Dr Momoyo Hüstebeck

DFG projects at IN-EAST

The DFG also funds research at IN-EAST to a significant extent. In addition to the DFG Post-Graduate Programme “Risk and East Asia”, IN-EAST researchers also conduct research in other DFG-funded programme lines.

Post-Graduate Programme 1613 – Risk and East Asia

The DFG Post-Graduate Programme “Risk and East Asia” investigated the movement of risks between individuals, companies, state and civil society as well as between national and supranational institutions in the major processes of globalisation and individualisation. Over 30 doctoral candidates were supported with their projects and supervised and trained by a team of mentors.

The research programme was designed as an international collaboration. One key innovation of this post-graduate programme was the “joint mobility” to East Asia. For example, intensive courses on research methods and field research in Asia were held at Renmin University in Beijing and the University of Tokyo, preparing doctoral students for their own research projects. Numerous international visiting professors regularly accepted the invitations of the post-graduate programme and participated in the training of young researchers at IN-EAST with workshops and lectures.

The post-graduate programme came to a close with a major conference in 2018, at which the former Ph.D. students, post-docs, fellows and PIs presented their research results.

Funding period: 2009–2018

Spokespersons: Prof. Karen Shire Ph.D., Prof. Flemming Christiansen

Other selected DFG-funded projects

The development dynamics of Chinese social policy: The interaction of national and international influences.

The Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1342 Global Development Dynamics of Social Policy at the University of Bremen is concerned with the worldwide development and change of state social policy. Social policy is a core welfare producer, but each country deals with it differently. Social policy is developing in different forms and at different speeds all over the world.

The CRC sub-project on the development dynamics of Chinese social policy, which is led by Liu Tao from IN-EAST together with Tobias ten Brink (Jacobs University), focuses on international and transnational interdependence. Social policy in China cannot be explained purely endogenously, but rather from an interdependency-oriented theory that combines national and international causal mechanisms.

Funding period 2018–2024

PI: Prof. Tao Liu

Concepts of political rule and development paths in the studies of Chinese political scientists

Little is known about the internal policy debates of so-called closed systems such as the People’s Republic of China and the interaction between political leadership elites and political scientists in the development of action-oriented political ideas. For the most part, the focus of analysis rests solely on the visible actions of the political leadership elite and their official political statements. The calculations and ideas underlying their actions are often hidden. Prof. Nele Noesselt’s research project is attempting to close this gap by means of the systematic and structured analysis of the discourses held in Chinese political science on concepts of political rule and development paths in the People’s Republic of China.

Funding period 2014–2018

PI: Prof. Nele Noesselt

(New) Political representation claims: A global perspective (France, Germany, Brazil, China, India)

Europe is currently in a crisis as regards established forms of political representation, which is reflected in growing political distrust. All over the world, various calls are being made for the renewal of political representation. Most contemporary research focuses on election/mandate representation in individual countries. Consequently, a comparative global analysis of (new) representative claims developed outside the representative political system is lacking, and the dynamics developing in the global south, including non-democratic entities, are being neglected by Western scholars. In this collaborative project, co-funded by the DFG and its French counterpart ANC, Thomas Heberer of IN-EAST, Prof. Brigitte Geissel (Goethe University Frankfurt), Prof. Yves Sintomer (Centre de Recherches Sociologiques et Politiques de Paris, CRESPPA) and Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal (Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, CNRS-EHESS, Paris) want to close these gaps by comparing representative claims in France and Germany – two leading democracies in Europe actively experimenting with new concepts of representation – and in three BRICS countries, Brazil, India and China.

Funding period DFG-ANR 2016–2019

PI: Prof. Thomas Heberer

Travelling knowledge: the glocalization of medical professional knowledge and practice

Using the disease chronic systolic heart failure (CSHF), the project aims to empirically investigate how medical professional knowledge is spread worldwide and how it is received and reorganised in the national context. It draws its theoretical foundation from globalisation studies, in which occupations are seen as the third pillar alongside states and markets.

Funding period: 2018–2021

PI: Prof. Liu Tao, Prof. Anja Weiß

The Development of an Inter-regional Comparative Research Perspective on Changes in the Labor Markets and Labor Migration in Japan and Germany

This DFG-funded project by Prof. Karen Shire and Prof. Verena Blechinger-Talcott (FU Berlin) aims to initiate internationally-comparative research projects in the field of labour market and migration research in Japan and Germany. In several workshops and conferences, scientists from both countries have been and are being brought together to discuss current developments in this field and to explore the possibilities of joint research projects.

Funding period 2018–2019

PI: Prof. Karen Shire

Anneliese Maier Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded to Sylvia Walby

At the suggestion of Prof. Karen Shire, the Humboldt Foundation has awarded the renowned Anneliese Maier Research Award to Sylvia Walby (University of Lancaster). The award is granted to researchers whose previous academic achievements in their field are internationally recognised and whose research cooperation with colleagues in Germany is expected to make a lasting contribution to the further internationalisation of the humanities and social sciences in Germany. Prof. Walby’s research focuses on inequality in society and in particular on gender relations and social change in contemporary societies. The prize money will be used for cooperation projects with scientists at UDE.

Funding period: 2018–2023

Host: Prof. Karen Shire