About Risk and East Asia


The Research Training Group (or Graduiertenkolleg) Risk and East Asia was a DFG-funded Graduate School of the IN-EAST from October 2009 to September 2018. It offered doctoral training and post-doctoral research opportunities in contemporary East Asian Studies, with a focus on economics and social sciences. A key feature was the collaboration between doctoral and post-doctoral fellows and senior researchers in a joint research program about the governance of risks triggered by Asian responses to global economic, political and social change. Our areas of expertise included Chinese Economy, Chinese and Japanese Politics, Japanese and Korean Economy and Japanese Society.

Concept & Organization

The Research Training Group Risk and East Asia was established in October 2009 as an international doctoral college within the Institute of East Asian Studies (IN-EAST) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, with generous support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the University of Duisburg-Essen until September 2018. Using English as a working language the group cooperated closely with the White Rose East Asia Centre at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield in the UK.

Each year, five new doctoral fellows were selected and underwent rigorous training in disciplinary and regional studies in preparation for completion of their own doctoral research projects within the framework of the Risk and East Asia research program. Financial support enabled all doctoral fellows to conduct their own research in East Asia.

The Research Program drew on a risk theoretical perspective to better understand the nature of contemporary institutional transformations in the East Asian region. Interdisciplinary collaboration was structured through research sub-themes focused on major processes affecting institutional change: Market Transformations, Social Organizations, Central-Local Interaction, and Transnationalization.

The Qualification Program developed methodological and language-based regional studies skills in order to improve the quality of European social science research on East Asia. The September Seminars, conducted at leading East Asian centers of social science, prepared students to conduct their own empirical research in East Asia.

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