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Dr. Wiebke Rabe


Institut für Chinastudien

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

Infrastructure provision in China

Raum 1.1131

Wiebke Rabe is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. Her research and teaching focuses on China’s transformative interactions with the world, China’s infrastructure provision at home and abroad, and the domestic interplay between central and subnational actors. Her most recent work investigates China’s inland provinces’ integration into the global economy and China’s digital clout overseas with a regional focus on Europe and Southeast Asia. Wiebke Rabe has extensive experience in conducting fieldwork in local China, conducting text analyses and survey research. She holds a PhD (with distinction) from Berlin’s Hertie School, an MA in International Relations and Conflict Studies from the University of Utrecht and a BA in European Studies from the University of Bremen.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 04/2019 Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute of Chinese Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
09/2019 Visiting Researcher, Centre for Urban Planning and Transport Studies, Peking University
09/2015-03/2019 Dr. rer. pol., Hertie School, Berlin (summa cum laude)
2015 - 2018 Visiting Researcher, LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science; School of Business, Nanjing University; Center for Research of Private Economy, Zhejiang University
01/2015-01/2017 Research Associate, Hertie School, Berlin
09/2012-08/2013 Master of Arts in International Relations/Conflict Studies, Utrecht University (with distinction, GPA 4/4)
2009 - 2012 Visiting Student, Saint Petersburg State University; University of Groningen; Peking University
2009 - 2011 Work experience with the Austrian Embassy Beijing; China University of Political Science and Law; Natural Resources Defense Council Beijing
10/2007 - 08/2010 Bachelor of Arts in European Studies, University of Bremen (very good)



German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) PhD Scholarship; China-Scholarship Programme; M.A. Graduate Scholarship
Haniel Foundation and the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt Go East Scholarship, Russia

Research interests

  • Foreign investment
  • Infrastructure provision
  • Local governance
  • Political economy
  • China


Research projects

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Rabe, W. (forthcoming): China's outward investment under "hierarchical steering" and "grassroots internationalization", Journal of Contemporary Asia.
  • Rabe, W. and Kostka, G. (2021): Leaping over the Dragon's Gate: The "Air Silk Road" between Henan Province and Luxembourg, The China Quarterly. 


  • 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.


  • Rabe, W. and Gippner, O. (2017): Perceptions of China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investment in Europe’s Critical Infrastructure and Strategic Industries, International Politics, 54 (4), 468-486.


  • Rabe, W., Kostka, G. and Smith Stegen, K. (2017): China’s Supply of Critical Raw Materials: Risks for Europe’s Wind and Solar Industries? Energy Policy, 101, 692-699.