Coordinated Programs · Koordinierte Programme


Research at IN-EAST aims to analyse changes in contemporary societies and economies in East Asia from an institutionalist perspective. More than 50 junior and senior researchers from the economic and social sciences cooperate in two major joint research initiatives – the DFG Research Training Group (GRK 1613) on Risk and East Asia and the IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies on Innovation in East Asia.

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funded by the
German Research Foundation (DFG)
1st funding period 10/2009 – 03/2014
2nd funding period 04/2014 – 09/2018

Risks, dangers and chances are powerful forces which drive people to organize themselves. Knowing more about the contexts and comparing them with other, different economic and social systems offers fresh perspectives.

The Institute of East Asian Studies (IN-EAST) at the University of Duisburg-Essen contributes to studies on these topics and puts ‘Risk in East Asia’ at the heart of its research agenda.

Which kind of risks  bring people together? Obviously natural disasters can do so, but current economic, social and political developments can also be part of these risks. For example, the Chinese leadership’s strategic decision-making is subject to risk calculation between market and state, democracy and the authoritarian regime. In addition all the East Asian countries have problems with social security.

So risks are important components in international relations within this region. For example, what is the correct response to the threats from North Korea? They also play a crucial role in negotiations between East Asia and Europe. What should be done in order to avert global risks such as climate change? How should enterprises prepare before entering a new market? And cannot neglect the cultural dimension, because risks and chances are subjectively sensed. Power and interest also play an important role in the process of perception, bargaining and negotiations (risk management).

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funded by
Fed. Ministry of Education and Research
1st funding period 04/2013 – 03/2017
2nd funding period 04/2017 – 12/2019

The IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies brings together researchers from IN-EAST and other faculties and research networks at the University of Duisburg-Essen. It was founded in order to explore innovation in East Asia from a multidisciplinary perspective, facilitating the generation of new knowledge and the advancement of new methodological approaches.

The IN-EAST School of Advanced Studies’ research agenda takes the embeddedness of innovation processes in society as a whole as its general focus of interest, with particular emphasis on the interdependent topics of electro-mobility and urban systems. All research activities take East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) as the subject of their analysis, but provide interfaces for international comparisons and comparative research agendas.

Innovation is understood as a social phenomenon which not only encompasses the technological dimension but which must also be embedded in specific ‘social technologies’ that create innovation-inducing environments and promote the diffusion of new technological solutions in the socio-economic system in order to succeed. The starting point for the research is therefore the transdisciplinary literature on the institutional foundations of national, regional, sectoral and technological innovation regimes. These specific institutions can be interpreted as ‘capital goods’ determining the productivity of individual and social innovation efforts. But as these embedding institutions exist in specific national cultures and follow different cultural, political and technological path dependencies, innovation in general must be understood as a process that is very much determined by idiosyncratic national and cultural characteristics.

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