Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Genia Kostka

Genia Kostka

Institute for Chinese Studies

Professorin, Institutsleitung

Politik Chinas

Freie Universität Berlin
Institute for Chinese Studies
Fabeckstr. 23/25
Raum 1.1123
14195 Berlin


ANFRAGEN AN DIE BACHELORBEAUFTRAGTE richten Sie bitte an bachelorbeauftragte@chinastudien.fu-berlin.de.

Für Sprechstunden bei Prof. Kostka vereinbaren Sie einen Termin per E-Mail mit dem Sekretariat.

Genia Kostka is Professor of Chinese Politics at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on China’s digital transformation, environmental politics and political economy. Her most recent research project explores how digital technologies are integrated into local decision-making and governance structures in China (ERC Starting Grant 2020-2025). Previously, she was Professor of Governance of Energy and Infrastructure at the Hertie School, Assistant Professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and strategic management consultant for McKinsey & Company. She has a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, an MA with specializations in International Economics and International Development from SAIS Johns Hopkins University and a BSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her work has appeared in leading area studies and social science journals including Comparative Political StudiesJournal of Politics, Regulation & Governance, Big Data & Society, New Media & Society, Environmental Politics, and The China Quarterly. Alongside her academic work, she regularly consults for international organizations, including the World Bank, OECD, AusAID, GIZ, and Oxfam.

Hinweis: Für Gutachten für Stipendien, Unibewerbungen und dergleichen müssen Studenten mindestens einen Kurs bei Prof. Kostka absolviert haben, in dem ein Referat gehalten und eine Hausarbeit geschrieben wurden. Bitte bereiten Sie Unterlagen bis spätestens vier Wochen vor Fristende vor: Motivationsschreiben, Lebenslauf, Liste der Noten der einzelnen Kurse, inkl. Referat und Hausarbeiten. Schicken Sie die Materialien in einer Mail bitte an das Sekretariat.

Curriculum Vitae

From 01/2017 Professor of China Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
09/14-12/16   Professor of Governance of Energy and Infrastructure, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
02/10-08/14  Juniorprofessor for Chinese Business Studies, Department of Economics, East-West Centre for Business Studies and Cultural Science, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Ph.D. (DPhil) in Development Studies, University of Oxford, Pembroke College 

Dissertation topic: ‘Private sector development in central China: patterns, causes, and the role of local governments’

M.A. in International Relations, SAIS Johns Hopkins University

Specializations: International Economics and International Development
09/98-07/01 BSc in International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science
09/96-06/98 International Baccalaureate, Li Po Chun United World College (UWC), Hong Kong 







Research interests:

  • Digital governance
  • Environmental politics
  • Political economy
  • Regional focus: China

Current research projects:

  • Recipient of Volkswagen Foundation Societal Transformation Grant: PRIVACY-China (2024-2027), together with Rachel Murphy (University of Oxford) and Ang Gao (University for the Creative Arts), more details see here.

  • SCRIPTS - Cluster of Excellence "Contestation of the Liberal Script": Studying Contestations to the Liberal Script in Authoritarian Contexts in Times of Crises: Digital Repression (with Anita Gohdes and Alexander Libman), funding for workshop in May 2024 (2024)

  • SCRIPTS – Co-PI with Alexander Libman (FU) on project: ‘Reinterpreting the alternative script? War in Ukraine, state-sponsored narratives of block building in authoritarian countries and their public perception’ (2022-2025)
  • Recipient of an ERC Starting Grant 2019: “Governing with Data: Local Experimentation in Authoritarian China” (2020-2025), more details see here

Past research projects:

  • SCRIPTS - Cluster of Excellence "Contestation of the Liberal Script": Studying Contestations to the Liberal Script in Authoritarian Contexts in Times of Crises: Methodological Challenges (with Anja Osei, Alexander Libman, und Tobias Berger), funding for workshop in October 2023 (2023)
  • Recipient of VW Scoping Workshop Grants 2023: The Digital Reach of the Chiense State: Emerging Research Fields

Program of VW Scoping Workshop

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Li, H. and Kostka, G. (2024) Chinese Citizens’ Digital Engagement with Local Mobile Government Platforms, Global Media and China. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Bondes, M., Kostka, G. and Rabe, W. (2024) ICT-based Environmental Participation in China: Same, Same but Digital?, Environmental Science & Policy. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Li, H. and Kostka, G. (2024) Navigating the Digital Age: The gray digital divide and digital inclusion in China, Media, Culture & Society. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Rabe, W. and Kostka, G. (2024). Perceptions of social credit systems in Southeast Asia: An external technology acceptance model, Global Policy. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Guo, D., Habich-Sobiegalla, S. and Kostka G. (2024): Emotions, crisis, and institutions: Explaining compliance with COVID-19 regulations, Regulation & Governance 18 (1), 177-2020 [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Kostka, G., and Habich-Sobiegalla, S. (2024): In times of crisis: Public perceptions towards COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps in China, Germany and the US, New Media and Society, 26 (4), 2256-2294. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Jiang, X., Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2023): Women’s Work: The Gendered Nature of Appointment Politics in Subnational China. Government and Opposition. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Shao, Q., and Kostka, G. (2023): The COVID-19 pandemic and deepening digital inequalities in China. Telecommunications Policy.  [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Kostka, G. (2023). Digital Doubters in Different Political and Cultural Contexts: Comparing Citizen Attitudes Across Three Major Digital Technologies, Data & Policy, 5, E27. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Jiang, X., Kostka, G. and Eaton, S. (2023): Provinces in command: Changes in prefectural appointments from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping (2003–2020). Journal of Contemporary China, 32 (144), 963-983 [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Jiang, X., Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2023): No County is an Island: The Rise of Interjurisdictional Cooperation among Counties in China. Regional Studies [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Kostka, G., Steinacker, L. and Meckel M. (2023): Under Big Brother’s Watchful Eye: Cross-country attitudes toward facial recognition technology, Government Information Quarterly, 40 (1) , Article 101761 [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Xu X.,  Kostka, G  and Cao, X. (2022): Information Control and Public Support for Social Credit Systems in China, The Journal of Politics, Volume 84, Number 4, pp. 2230–2245 [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Li, H. and Kostka, G. (2022): Accepting but Not Engaging with It: Digital Participation in Local Government-Run Social Credit Systems in China, Policy & Internet, 14 (4):  845-874. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Habich-Sobiegalla, S. and Kostka, G. (2022): Sharing is caring: willingness to share personal data through contact tracing apps in China, Germany, and the US, Information, Communication & Society. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Rabe, W. and Kostka, G. (2022): China’s growing digital reach: Explaining citizens’ high approval rates of fintech investments in Southeast Asia, Review of International Political Economy. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Rabe, W. and Kostka, G. (2022): Leaping over the Dragon's Gate: The "Air Silk Road" between Henan Province and Luxembourg, The China Quarterly, 249: 160 - 182 [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Jiang, X., Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2021). Not at the table but stuck paying the bill: Perceptions of injustice in China’s Xin’anjiang Eco-compensation program, Journal of Environment Policy & Planning. [Download article]

  • Große-Bley, J. and Kostka, G. (2021): Big Data Dreams and Reality in Shenzhen: An Investigation of Smart City Implementation in China, Big Data & Society. [Download article]

  • Kostka, G.,  Steinacker, L.  and Meckel M. (2021), Between security and convenience: Facial recognition technology in the eyes of citizens in China, the UK and the US, Public Understanding of Science. 30 (6): 671-690 [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Kostka, G., Goron, C. (2021), From targets to inspections: the issue of fairness in China’s environmental policy implementation, Environmental Politics. 30 (4): 513-537 [Download Manuscript]
  • Rabe, W., Kostka, G. and  Habich-Sobiegalla, S. (2020): Socio-Economic Development and Infrastructure Cost Performance in China: Comparing Transport and Energy Sectors, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Vol. 49 (2): 185-206. [Download article (Open Access)]

  • Kostka, G., Zhang, X. and Shin, K. (2020), Information, Technology, and Digitalization in China’s Environmental Governance, Introduction to Special Issue,  Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (CJEP), 63 (1), 1-13. [Download article (Open Access)]
  • Kostka, G., Antoine, L. (2020):  Fostering Model Citizenship: Behavioral Responses to China’s Emerging Social Credit Systems, Policy & Internet, 12 (3), 256-289. [Download article]
  • Habich-Sobiegalla, S., Kostka, G. and Anzinger, N. (2019): Citizens’ Electric Vehicle Purchase Intentions in China: An Analysis of Micro-level and Macro-level Factors, Transport Policy, 79, 223-233. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. (2019) China’s Social Credit Systems and Public Opinion: Explaining High Levels of Approval, New Media & Society, 21(7),1565 –1593. [Download article (Open Access)]
  • Harrison, T. and Kostka G. (2019): Bureaucratic manoeuvres and the local politics of climate change mitigation in China and India, Development Policy Review, 37, 68-84. [Download Manuscript]
  • Cao, X., Kostka, G. and Xu, X. (2019):Environmental Political Business Cycles: The Case of PM2.5 Air Pollution in Chinese Prefectures, Environmental Science and Policy, 93, 92-100. [Download Manuscript]
  • Habich-Sobiegalla, S., Kostka, G., and Anzinger, N. (2018): Electric vehicle purchase intentions of Chinese, Russian and Brazilian citizens: An international comparative study, Journal of Cleaner Production, 205, 188-200. [Download Manuscript]
  • Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2018): What Makes for Good and Bad Neighbours? An Emerging Research Agenda in the Study of Chinese Environmental Politics, Environmental Politics, 27 (5), 782-803. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Zhang. C. (2018) Tightening the Grip: Environmental Governance under Xi Jinping (Introduction for Symposium), Environmental Politics, 27 (5), 769-781. [Download article (Open Access)]
  • Kostka, G. and Nahm, J. (2017): Central–Local Relations: Recentralization and Environmental Governance in China (Introduction to Special Section,) The China Quarterly, (231), 567-582. [Download Manuscript]
  • Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2017): Central Protectionism in China: The “Central SOE Problem” in Environmental Governance, The China Quarterly, (231), 685-704. [Download Manuscript]
  • Conrad, B. and Kostka, G. (2017): Chinese Investments in Europe’s Energy Sector: Risks and Opportunities? (Introduction to Special Issue on Chinese Investments in Europe’s Energy Sector), Energy Policy, Vol. 101, 644-648. [Download Manuscript]
  • Rabe, W., Kostka, G., and Smith-Stegen K. (2017), China’s Supply of Critical Raw Materials: Risks for Europe’s Solar and Wind Industries?, Energy Policy, Vol. 101, 692-699. [Download Manuscript]
  • Shin, K. and Kostka, G. (2016) 探寻合适的治理模式: 信任与社会关系网络在中国节能服务公司发展过程中的作用 in Comparative Economic & Social Systems (经济社会体制比较) (peer-reviewed Chinese Journal), 3, 40-51. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. (2016), Command without control: The case of China’s environmental target system, Regulation & Governance, Vol. 10, 58–74. [Download Manuscript]
  • Hochstetler, K., and Kostka, G. (2015), Wind and Solar Sectors in Brazil and China: Interests, State-Business Relations, and Policy Outcomes, Global Environmental Politics, Vol. 15, No. 3, 74-94. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Yu, X. (2015), Career backgrounds of municipal Party secretaries in China: Why do so few municipal Party secretaries rise from the county level?, Modern China, Vol. 41 No. 5, 467-505. [Download Manuscript]
  • Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2014): Authoritarian environmentalism undermined? Local leaders’ time horizons and environmental policy implementation in China, The China Quarterly, Vol. 218, 359 - 380. [Download Manuscript]
  • Harrison, T. and Kostka, G. (2014): Balancing priorities, aligning interests: Developing mitigation capacity in China and India, Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 47, Issue 3 March, 450 - 480. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Zhou, J. (2013), Enterprise-government alliances in state capitalist economies: Evidence from low-income markets in China, Business and Politics, Vol. 15, Issue 2, 245–274. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G., Moslener, U., and Andreas, J. (2013): Barriers to increasing energy efficiency: Evidence from small-and medium-sized enterprises in China, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 57, 59-68. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Hobbs, W. (2013), Embedded interests and the managerial local state: the political economy of methanol fuel-switching in China, Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 22, No. 80, 204-218. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Mol, A. (2013), Implementation and Participation in China’s Local Environmental Politics: Challenges and Innovations, Journal of Environmental Planning and Policy, Vol. 15, Issue 1, 3-16. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. (2013), Environmental protection bureau leadership at the provincial level in China: Examining diverging career backgrounds and appointment patterns, Journal of Environmental Planning and Policy, Vol. 15, Issue 1, 41-63. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Shin, K. (2013), Energy conservation through energy service companies: Empirical analysis from China, Energy Policy, Vol. 52, 748-759. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. and Hobbs, W. (2012), Local energy efficiency policy implementation in China: Bridging the gap between national priorities and local interests, The China Quarterly, Vol. 211, 765-­785. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G. (2012), Mobility and agency: Private sector development in rural central China, The China Journal, Issue 67, 47-65. [Download Manuscript]
  • Kostka, G., Polzin, C., and Scharrer, J. (2009), The future of sugar cane in China and India – supply constraints and expansion potential. Journal of Applied Energy, Vol. 86, S100-S107.

Books and Edited Books

  • Wegrich, K., Kostka, G., and Hammerschmidt, G. (2017), The Governance of Infrastructure, edited volume, Oxford University Press.
  • Kostka, G. and Fiedler, J. (2016), Large Infrastructure Projects in Germany - Between Ambition and Realities, edited volume, Palgrave.
  • Kostka, G. and Mol, A., (2013), Local environmental politics in China – Challenges and Innovations, edited volume, Routledge.

Book Chapters

  • Goron, C. and Kostka, G. (2024) From War on Nature to War on Pollution: Continuity and Change in the Chinese Communist Party’s Ecological Agenda, in edited book by Doyon, J., and Froissart, C. The Chinese Communist Party – A 100 Years Trajectory. ANU Press. (Download)

  • Kostka, G. (2023): China – A Rising Tech Power?: National Ambitions and Local Realities in The Emergence of China’s Smart State, edited by R. Creemers, S. Papagianneas, and A. Knight, Rowman & Littlefield. (Open Access)

  • Kostka, G. (2023) Digital Governance in China, in Handbook on Local Governance in China: Structures, Variations, and Innovations, edited by Ceren Ergenc, David S. G. Goodman, p. 178-207. (Download)
  • Kostka, G. (2019), Local Implementation of Energy Conservation Policies in China, in The Palgrave Handbook of Local Governance in Contemporary China, Jianxing Yu and Sujian Guo, Palgrave, Singapore, pp 675-693. (Download)
  • Kostka, G. (2017), China’s local environmental politics, in edited book by Eva Sternfeld, The Routledge Handbook of China’s Environmental Policies, Routledge.
  • Kostka, G. (2009), Private sector development in Anhui province – The impact of regional spillovers from Jiangsu province’ in edited book by Wu, Zhongmin ‘China in the World Economy’, Routledge.
  • Eaton, S. and Kostka, G. (2013), Does cadre turnover help or hinder China’s green rise? Evidence from Shanxi province, in edited book by Ren Bingqiang and Shou Shuisheng ‘Chinese environmental policy: Dynamics, challenges, and prospects in a changing society’, Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.
  • Kostka, G., Sandilands, R. (2008), A property rights puzzle?: The development of Chinese non-state enterprises, in: Philip Hanson, Tomasz Mickiewicz, Roger Sandilands, Jan Winiecki, Genia Kostka (Editors): The future of capitalism after the collapse of communism, London: Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies (CRCE), New Series No. 24, p. 61-86.

Others (selection)

  • Kostka, G., (2016) Chapter 4 on Infrastructure Project Delivery and Implementation: Risk Management Across a Project’s Life Cycle, in Hertie School of Governance and OECD: Governance Report 2016, Oxford University Press.