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Current Research

Dec 15 2021

Current Research, December 2021

Cornelia Storz Analyses the Chinese Ecosystem of Technology Transfer.

In November 2021 Cornelia Storz, together with Marcus Conlé, Henning Kroll and Tobias ten Brink, published an article in the Journal of Technology Transfer (JOTT). Technology transfer in Europe and Asia is a subject that receives much attention, especially from an economic and political perspective, because interesting transfer mechanisms have developed in these contexts. One instance is the University Satellite Institutes (USI), which feature large in China. Prof. Storz and her co-authors take a closer look at this contributor, which has been largely overlooked, taking as an example the situation in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

In the context of IZO research on Global East Asia, this project identifies an important mechanism largely neglected in innovation research, namely institutional proximity which helps to successfully implement technology transfer. This mechanism is shown to be of equal relevance to any successful innovation policy in our part of the world. JOTT was chosen advisedly for the publication of this article because of the journal's interest in both failed and successful policies of technology transfer. The article is an open access publication and is available under DOI (see below).

Marcus Conlé,· Henning Kroll,· Cornelia Storz &· Tobias ten Brink (2021): University satellite institutes as exogenous facilitators of technology transfer ecosystem development. In The Journal of Technology Transfer, (Open Access).

Current Research

In a recent open access publication in the Journal of Contemporary Asia, Heike Holbig and Bertram Lang investigate the impact of the Chinese NGO legislation of 2016 on interaction in international civil societies. Drawing on interviews as well as theories of institutional change, the authors look beyond the mere implementation of the NGO law, drawing up four scenarios of long-term developments of Chinese policy with regard to international NGOs and foundations. In particular, their analysis shows that this policy goes well beyond the regulation of inner-Chinese activities and that new forms of politically controlled cooperation with civil societies are developing within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. While the NGO law affects mainly organisations in the US, Hong Kong and some Western European countries, it is primarily actors in countries of the global south such as Nepal or Cambodia, countries which China is closely allied with, for whom these new formats are of particular importance.

Involved IZO Researcher(s):

Prof. Dr. Heike Holbig

Political Science with a Focus on Chinese and East Asian Area Studies

Dr. Bertram Lang

Academic Coordinator

Current Research

Just like IZO brings together East and Southeast Asian Studies in Frankfurt, academic networks “on the ground" in East and Southeast Asia are increasingly cooperating across the region. An example is the new journal INContext, which is a collaborative journal bringing together the Korean Association for Public Sector Translation and Interpretation (KAPTI), the Language and Intercultural Studies Institute (LISI), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Indonesia, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). For their inaugural issue, they asked the IZO member Arndt Graf to contribute an article, and he was also invited as member of the Editorial Board of the new journal.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic deeply impacted the economies and societies of Southeast Asia, Malaysia had achieved many of the goals formulated in the so-called “Vision 2020" during the era of Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (1981-2003). As this long-term development program emphasized strongly on knowledge society (k-society), knowledge economy (k-economy) and Information and Computer Technology (ICT), one important legacy of this era was the establishment of numerous excellent academic programs, including in technological disciplines. The post-Mahathir administrations since the early 2000s built on this asset and successfully transformed the country's Higher Education sector further, so that it attracted hundreds of thousands of international students from the early 2000s until the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis in early 2020. This paper examines the linguistic and cultural implications of Malaysia's emerging role as hub of both international Higher Education and Industry 4.0.

Current Research

Abstract: In line with the increasing significance of the role of transnational migration in healthcare provision—especially in the West—slightly over 11,000 nurses and nurse assistants from South Korea moved as “guest workers” (Gastarbeiter) to the former West Germany mainly between the 1960s and the 1970s. This study explores the role of emotions in the professional practice of nursing care. Particular attention is paid to gendered and racialized aspects of the emotional labor carried out by the Korean migrant healthcare workers based on their experiences at work. The way in which the stereotypical image of Asian/Korean femininity has been shaped into care work will be examined. Another focus is the way in which the Korean female healthcare practitioners manage their emotions and act as compassionate nurses in care delivery. They perform or manage their emotions to demonstrate a sense of compassion and empathy in nursing practices. In the process of performing their duty of care and managing their emotions over the long-term, the Korean healthcare workers also have to negotiate between providing compassionate care and coping with “compassion fatigue” in healthcare settings by performing racialized gender in a recurring manner. Their emotional labor is thereby undertaken in intersection with gender, and race/ethnicity; factors which are entangled and mutually reinforced in the performativity of gender and race/ethnicity within the context of nursing care by the “guest workers.”

Source: Yonson Ahn, "Samaritans from the East": Emotion and Korean nurses in Germany", Korean Studies, Volume 45, 2021, pp.9-35. doi:10.1353/ks.2021.0002.

Current Research

Zhiyi Yang has published a research article in the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, titled “The Memory of an Assassin and Problems of Legitimacy in the Wang Jingwei Regime (1940–1945)." It examines a poetry exchange in early 1942 about a painting on the ancient assassin Jing Ke, which took place among top collaborators at Nanjing. Chinese cultural memory of Jing Ke, long contested, shifted in the twentieth century, making him into a Republican and national hero, eventually symbolizing resistance against Japan. Thus, these poems, especially considering their Japanese readership, show that although cultural memory can be evoked as a legitimizing discourse to serve political needs, its plasticity gives it versatility. Wang's own iconography as assassin, central in constructing the legitimacy of his regime, was a floating symbol that assumed varying meanings in different contexts. It simultaneously justified collaboration, assuming that Japan's pan-Asianism would usher in a new unified Qin empire, and also resistance, assuming Wang Jingwei's perceived readiness to make a personal sacrifice to save the nation.


Zhiyi Yang. “The Memory of an Assassin and Problems of Legitimacy in the Wang Jingwei Regime (1940–1945)," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 80.1 (2020): 37–83.

Image Description and Credit:

Fig. Wang Jingwei in suit and tie, writing “Advance, toward the goal of China's renaissance and East Asia's renaissance!", illustration by Itō Kikuzō, 1941

Source: Yamanaka Minetarō, Shin Chūgoku no dai shidōsha, p. 323. Image courtesy of Harvard Yenching Library of the Harvard College Library, Harvard University

Current Research

Swantje Heiser-Cahyono's book "Framing climate risk insurances in the Indonesian news print media" has been published by iudicium-Verlag in IZO's series of publications, Frankfurt East Asian Studies (FEAS).
Content: In the context of global climate change, climate risk insurances are generally highlighted as a key element of adaptation to and management of global climate risks. This research is concerned with Indonesia's approach to such insurances and discusses the country's motivation to implement a national climate risk insurance programme. By drawing on media theories on frames and framing and by using frame analysis, this study identifies six frames that the Indonesian government and/or Indonesian journalists apply with regard to interpreting climate risk insurances, and locates the results in the wider international discourse. In addition, the analysis of both governmental and journalistic frames also allows to assess the present relation between the government and the press, which looks back at a very specific interconnection due to Indonesia's socio-political history.

More information on the iudicium website.

Current Research

Aug 30 2020

IZO third-party funded project completed

Final Volume of the AFRASO Project

The final volume of the externally funded project  Africa's Asian Options (AFRASO) has been published by Brill Academic Publishers.

Ruth Achenbach, Jan Beek, John Njenga Karugia, Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel, and Frank Schulze-Engler (Hg.): Afrasian Transformations: Transregional Perspectives on Development Cooperation, Social Mobility, and Cultural Change, Brill, 2020.

African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other. Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these  transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds  and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential  benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Jan Beek, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, Hanna Getachew Amare, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder S. Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, Darryl C. Thomas, and Sophia Thubauville.

For more details see