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Politics & Economy

Private/ public economy

China’s remarkable growth over the last three decades has been accompanied by its transition from a publicly owned to a mixed economy. Private enterprises now account for more than half of all industrial output in China. After four decades of miraculous economic development, China is currently making efforts to change the growth model towards high end, technology-intensive manufacturing. How do public and private investments, and public-private partnerships shape economic developments in different sectors? What role do private and public economic actors play in China’s policy-making? What are the main challenges China faces in trying to change its economic growth model?

Foreign relations

China's recent rise is not confined to the economic realm alone; the country has become an important player in international relations as well. China is now an indispensable actor in global affairs like the climate change regime, international peacekeeping operations, but also in the international race for resources. How is China dealing with globalization and integrating itself in the international community? What does China's engagement in resource rich continents like Africa and Latin America mean? What is the impact of China’s grand plan of One Road One Belt (OBOR)? And what does all of that mean for Europe and Germany? These are some of the questions within the research area of foreign relations.

Central – local relations

China, a country the size of a continent, is a unitary state, but, at the same time, its administration and economy are also highly decentralized. It is for this reason that local governments play a fundamental role in China’s social and economic development. However, also great discrepancies exist in every policy field between policy mandates issued by the political center and the results of local policy implementation. Research in this stream therefore focuses on the question of how this immense and diverse country has been organized into a unitary state that is governed by one power center. Through which mechanisms does the center strive to achieve alignment between goals and outcomes, and how successful are these efforts across policy areas? How exactly is power distributed across China’s provinces, prefectures, counties, and townships, and how does this distribution shape development outcomes?