Implications of the Rise of China and Non-Western Emerging Economies

Implications of the Rise of China and Non-Western Emerging Economies
Group leader
Professor of Chinese Economy and Society
Specific themes and goals
  • Inclusion and Benefit Dynamics in the Chinese Welfare Regime —This project analyzes how social insurance programmes in the People’s Republic of China have evolved from the 1990s to 2020. Specifically, we want to contribute to the understanding of social-policy dynamics in the risk fields of old age, sickness, maternity, and unemployment. We scrutinize how national factors, global economic interdependence, and ideational linkages in the East Asian region influence changes in coverage and generosity. In our data preparation and analysis, we follow a mixed-methods approach. Headed by Prof. Tobias ten Brink and Dr. habil Armin Müller, the project is part of the Collaborative Research Center at the University of Bremen, funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.
  • Cooperation of European Firms with Chinese Universities: Forms and Effects — This project provides evidence on collaborations between European firms and Chinese research institutions. We ask: What forms of collaboration can be identified between Chinese research institutions and European firms? From the firm’s viewpoint, what effects does the collaboration generate? Under which conditions can more legitimacy and innovation be achieved? To answer these questions, we combine web-scraping, survey questionnaires, and statistical analysis with qualitative methods. We aim to better understand university-industry collaboration in China, and be able to better assess the opportunities and risks of international university-industry collaboration. The BMBF project is co-led by Prof. Cornelia Storz at the University of Frankfurt.
  • Challenges for the Stability of the Chinese Economic Model — The DFG-funded project examines if and to what extent current socio-economic and political challenges are destabilizing China’s state-permeated economic model. In particular, we are asking whether recent reforms initiated under the Xi Jinping government undermine or sustain the model. The project expects new insights into China’s socio-economic development as well as a better understanding of the processes enabling institutional stabilization. We hereby want to further our understanding of how the Chinese economy moved from a low-tech “workshop of the world” into a center of high-tech digital industries.
  • China in Europe Research Network — Foreign direct investment from China to Europe has been growing strongly over the past decade. The perceived challenges posed by investment and other activities have led to increasing political and media attention across Europe, including calls for EU vetting and regulation of acquisitions. In this EU Cost Action project, Prof. Tobias ten Brink is working with other researchers to pool and stimulate research on China’s deepening economic engagements with Europe, and develop an interdisciplinary, holistic, cross-sectoral and pan-European understanding of the variegated impacts and strategies associated with these engagements. The project also expects to comprehend likely political and geo-political consequences of these engagements, and generate input on policy implications. Prof. ten Brink is a management committee member on the project.
  • China Global Center — Next to academic research, the group has created dialogue forums for the general public sphere and local businesses, especially with the China Global Center.
Highlights and impact
  • The research group has successfully acquired particularly prestigious third-party funding, including five DFG research grants.
  • Our research results we have achieved — including numerous publications in top journals and an award-winning book — have all been very well received both nationally and internationally.
  • As network organizers of the annual SASE conferences (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, Network Q “Asian Capitalisms”), we have built bridges between political scientists, sociologists, economists, scholars from business studies, and area-studies specialists. As a result, SASE Network Q has become a very important international hub for socioeconomic debate on Asia.
Group composition & projects/funding

The group consists of several postdoctoral researchers, one coordinator for the China Global Center, and three to five research assistants. Also, Prof ten Brink is currently supervising three PhD students. The group and its projects are funded by the DFG, the BMBF, and Horizon 2020.

Selected publications
  • China’s Capitalism. A Paradoxical Route to Economic Prosperity. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. 
  • Innovation in emerging economies: How do university-industry linkages and public procurement matter for small businesses? Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 2021, (with C. Storz, Na Zou). 
  • University satellite institutes as exogenous facilitators of technology transfer ecosystem development. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2022 (with M. Conlé, H. Kroll, C. Storz). 
  • The Externalization of China’s Technical Standardization Approach. Development and Change, 2021 (with T. Rühlig). 
  • Varieties of Contestation: China’s Rise and the Liberal Trade Order. Review of International Political Economy, 2020 (with C. Weinhardt).