Dr. Christina Maags

Visiting Professor

Professorship for Political Science with the Focus on Area Studies China/ East Asia

Faculty 03 Social Science
Institute for Political Science

Westend Campus, PEG-Building
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6

60323 Frankfurt am Main

E-Mail: C.Maags@soz.uni-frankfurt.de

To the homepage of the professorship


(last update: January 2024)




Since 2023/04Visiting Professor
Goethe University Frankfurt
Political Science with the Focus on Area Studies China/ East-Asia (Focus: Chinese Heritage Politics)
Since 2020/01Lecturer in Chinese Studies
University of Sheffield
School of East Asian Studies 
2017/09- 2020/03Lecturer in Chinese Politics
SOAS, University of London
Politics Departement
2013/04- 2017/03Research Fellow and Doctoral Candidate
Goethe University Frankfurt
Institute for Political Science


2014- 2017Doctor in Political Science
Goethe University Frankfurt
Institute for Political Science
(Focus: Chinese Heritage Politics)
2016- 2017Msc Comparative Social Policy
University of Oxford
Department for Social Policy and Intervention
(Focus: Elder care politics in East-Asia) 
2010- 2013MA Modern East Asian Studies
Goethe University Frankfurt
Department of Economics (English language Master) 
(Focus: Chinese politics)
2006- 2010BA Asian Studies
University of Bonn
Department of Asian Studies
(Focus: China)

Visiting Fellowships and studies abroad

2016/ 02-03Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; Visiting Fellowship
2008/09- 2009/08Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China; One-year Chinese language program

Methods Training

2018Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR) (2-week Summer School, Syracuse University, USA)
2016Principles & Practice of Comparative Research (Postgraduate course, University of Oxford)
2016Qualitative Research Methods (Postgraduate course, University of Oxford)
2016Quantitative Research Methods (Postgraduate course, University of Oxford)
2013Empirical Research Methods (Postgraduate course, Goethe University Frankfurt)

Academic Memberships

  • European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS)
  • Association of Asian Studies (AAS)
  • British Association of Chinese Studies (BACS) - Treasurer since Sept 2021
  • German Association for Asian studies (DGA)  - Speaker of the Junior Researcher Group2015-2017
  • Association for Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) - Member of the ICH research network

Services to the profession

Peer-ReviewerOxford Human Welfare Journal; Religions; International Journal of Cultural Policy; China Information; International Journal of Heritage Studies; Modern China; Politics & Policy; Ageing & Society
Ext. ExaminerLSE -PKU Summer School on Chinese Politics
Conference OrganizerTheory-Workshop (THEORIE TALK: Vergleichende Kapitalismen,  Development und Gender in der Asienforschung), German Association of Asian Studies, Schwerte, Germany,18.-20.12.2015
Graduate Conference of the German Association of Asian Studies, Burg Rothenfels am Main, Germany 27/-29/01/2017
Akademic BloggerBarnett House Social Policy Blog (Redakteurin und Mitwirkende)
"Stimmen aus China" (Voices from China) (Asia Foundation, contributor, 2011-2012)

Grants and Scholarships

2022/08British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant (£10,000)
2021/04University of Sheffield, Faculty Research Application Fellowships (FRAF) (£10,000)
2019/09SOAS, competitive university-wide research grant “seed corn fund" (£3,500)
2017/06University of Oxford, Green Templeton College, UK; competitive conference travel grant (£1,000)
2013/07Hong Kong University (HKU), scholarship for doctoral studies in Modern Chinese Studies a School for Modern Languages and Cultures (2013-2017) (13,600 HK$ per month) (declined)
2012/06- 2013/03Friends and Supporters of the Goethe University Frankfurt; various conference travel grants


  • German and English (mother tongues, bilingual upbringing)
  • Mandarin Chinese (fluent in speaking, reading, writing, listening/ comprehension)

Social commitment

Since 2008: Adesuwa e.V. 
Charity for promoting rural Nigerian children's access to education and health care 
Co-founder & board member (vice president)


Research Focus

  • China's political economy (issue areas of interests: heritage/creative and health/eldercare industries)
  • Case Studies: Elder care services and Cultural heritage preservation
  • Chinese multi-level governance
  • Relationship between international politics and Chinese domestic politics


Taught Courses

  • Public Policy in China (Frankfurt)
  • State and Politics in China (Frankfurt)
  • Political Economy of China (Frankfurt)
  • China's Cultural Heritage Politics: From Global to Local Level (Frankfurt) 
  • Cultural Politics in Contemporary China (Frankfurt)  
  • International Business in East Asia (Sheffield)
  • Contemporary Chinese Business and Management (Sheffield)
  • Political Economy of China (Sheffield)
  • State and Society in the Chinese Political Process (SOAS London)  
  • China and International Politics (SOAS London) 
  • Chinese Business and Management (Sheffield)
  • Government and Politics in China (SOAS London)
  • International Relations in East Asia (SOAS London)

Guest Lectures

2020/12 and 2020/02Imperial College London; “Democratic Centralism in China – An Alternative Form of Governance?" 
2020/11University of Sheffield, School of East Asian Studies (SEAS); "Steering Eldercare Service Development in China"
2020/11University of Sheffield, Department of Journalism; "US Election - The Chinese Perspective"
2019/11SOAS, University of London; “Spatial Inequality in China's Political Economy of Elder Care"
2019/04Australian National University; “Travelling Heritage Narratives – China's Adoption of the 'Heritage under Threat' Narrative"
2019/03King's College London; “Moving Across Hierarchies and Networks: The Role of Actor Mobility in Chinese Politics"
2018/10SOAS, University of London; “Long-Term Care Insurance Adoption in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan: How and When Ideas and Institutions Matter"
2017/05University of Oxford, Pitt Rivers Museum Seminar Series; “Analysing State Intervention in Transmission of Cultural Knowledge: The Case of the Chinese ICH Inheritors Program"
2016/03Australian National University, China in the World Centre and Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies; Member of the round table discussion “Heritage and China"
2016/03Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, Bachelor seminar “Music and Politics", Australia; “Safeguarding Traditional Music through State Programs in East Asia: The Case of the Living Human Treasures System"
2016/03Australian National University, Lecture Series, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, ANU, Australia; “From Cultural Practitioner to ICH inheritor: Competition and Hierarchies in the Chinese Living Human Treasures System" 
2015/05University of Cologne, Germany, East Asian Studies Department, Lecture Series on Cultural Policy in East Asia; “Policy Diffusion in East Asia – The Case of the Chinese 'Living Human Treasures' System"
2014/02Furman University (USA); Anthropology in China Lecture, “Conducting Research on China's Cultural Heritage Politics" 

Teaching Qualification

  • Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy (2018)
  • Senior Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy (2023)


  • First (main) supervisor of Master's and Bachelor's dissertations
  • First and second supervisor of PhD dissertations 

Administrative Roles

Since 2022Faculty Early Career Researcher Representative, Sheffield
Since 2020Departmental Director of One University, SEAS, Sheffield  
2020-2022Exams Officer, SEAS, Sheffield 
2018-2022Convenor of the SOAS “Msc Politics of China” 


Peer-reviewed monographs and edited volumes

2020Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past. London: Routledge (by Yujie Zhu and Christina Maags).
2018Chinese Cultural Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations. Amsterdam:Amsterdam University Press (edited by Christina Maags and Marina Svensson).

Peer-reviewed journal articles

2023“State Institutions as Building Blocks of China's Infrastructures of Memory – The Case of Intangible Heritage", Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 52(2), 163-184. https://doi.org/10.1177/18681026221145950
2022“Marketization, Privatization and Commodification - China's Urban Political Economy of Elder Care", Modern China. https://doi.org/10.1177/00977004221117773 
2021“ICH, the Market, and the State: Self-enterprising Cultural Practitioners in China" (mit Philipp Demgenski), submitted to Chinese-language Journal “Cultural Heritage" (文化遗产).
2021“Common, Luxury and Fake Commodities: Intangible Cultural Heritage Markets in China", China Perspectives, https://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/12184.
2020“Hybridization in China's Elder Care Provision", Social Policy and Administration, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/spol.12616  
2020“Long-Term Care Insurance Adoption in East Asia: Politics, Ideas and Institutions", Politics & Policy, https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12339
2019“When East meets West: Comparing UNESCO's Impact on Domestic Cultural Governance Systems in Europe and Asia" (with Ioan Trifu), Politics & Policy, https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12296 
2019“Struggles of Recognition: Adverse Effects of China's Living Human Treasures Program", International Journal of Heritage Studies, https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2018.1542330
2018“Disseminating the Policy Narrative of 'Heritage under Threat' in China", International Journal of Cultural Policy, https://doi.org/10.1080/10286632.2018.1500559
2016“Replicating Elite-Dominance in Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding: The Role of Local Government–Scholar Networks in China", International Journal of Cultural Property, 23: 71- 97.
2014“Enhancing China's National Image through Culture Festivals: A Case Study of China Culture Years in Europe", Fudan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 7 (1): 33-55.

Peer-reviewed book chapters

2021“Chinese Cultural Heritage Politics", in Routledge Handbook of Chinese Studies, accepted for publication, https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Chinese-Studies/Shei-Wei/p/book/9780367181390
2018“Mapping the Chinese Heritage Regime: Ruptures, Governmentality, and Agency", in Chinese Cultural Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations, Amsterdam University Press.
2018“Creating a Race to the Top: Hierarchies and Competition within the Chinese ICH Transmitters System", in Chinese Cultural Heritage in the Making: Experiences, Negotiations and Contestations, Amsterdam University Press.
2018“Protecting the Weak? Tracing UNESCO's Influence on Intangible Cultural Heritage Regimes in Japan and China" (with Ioan Trifu), in Protecting the Weak in East Asia. Framing, Mobilisation, Institutionalisation. Routledge
2018“Cultural Contestation in China: Ethnicity, Identity and the State", in Cultural Contestation: Heritage, Ethnicity and the Role of Government, Palgrave Macmillan.

Currently under peer-review

  • “The Politics of Norm Translation in China: The Case of Intangible Cultural Heritage”, submitted to Review of International Studies (peer-review, R&R)
  • “Accessing Care Services across China’s Rural-Urban Divide: An Analysis of Nanjing, China”, submitted to Social Policy and Society (peer-review, R&R)

Book reviews

2023 “Coalitions of the Weak: Elite Politics in China from Mao's Stratagem to the Rise of Xi, by Victor Shih, The Journal of Development Studies, 2023, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00220388.2023.2196164 
2022“Workers and Change in China. Resistance, Repression, Responsiveness," by Manfred Elfstrom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, China Information, 2022.
2019“Lost and Found: The 'Missing Girls' in Rural China". By John James Kennedy and Yaojiang Shi, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Perspectives on Politics, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1017/S153759271900355
2019“Popular Protest in China" by Teresa Wright, The Political Quarterly, 2019, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1467-923X.12764
2018“Financing Healthcare in China: Towards Universal Health Insurance” by Sabrina Ching Yuen Luk, The China Quarterly, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305741018001108

Newspaper articles

2023“China's population decline is a result of decades of botched family planning measures and will have global implications", The Conversation, 19 January, 2023, https://theconversation.com/chinas-population-decline-is-a-result-of-decades-of-botched-family-planning-measures-and-will-have-global-implications-198017
2019“The Great Firewall of China", Fair Observer, 23 September, 2019, https://www.fairobserver.com/region/asia_pacific/great-firewall-china-censorship-chinese-news-today-vpn-china-38018/

Mentions in the media

2023“How China uses UNESCO to rewrite history", The Economist, 21 September, 2023, https://www.economist.com/china/2023/09/21/how-china-uses-unesco-to-rewrite-history 
2020“Coronavirus: Five ways virus upheaval is hitting women in Asia", BBC, 8 March, 2020, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-51705199   
2020“Coronavirus exposes the divide between China's rich and poor", Deutsche Welle, 25 February, 2020, https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-exposes-the-divide-between-chinas-rich-and-poor/a-52526369 

Social media, academic blogs and podcasts

2017/10“China's Long-term Care System: Policy Innovation or Negative Example?", Barnett House Blog, Oxford University.
2017/09“Finding unity in diversity within China's long-term care system", Social Care Work Research Unit Blog “Social Care Workforce", King's College London.
2017/05“Female Cultural Practitioners: The Gender Question in Safeguarding Traditional Culture", International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) Magazine.
2017/02“Demographic Challenges of the 21st Century", Barnett House Blog, Oxford University.
2012/08“Regenfälle fluten die Vororte von Beijing – Die Kritik gegen die Stadtregierung wächst" (Rain floods suburbs in China - The criticism against the municipal government is growing), 31/08/2012
2012/08“Wu Ying und der private Finanzsektor in China – Korruption oder fehlerhaftes Rechtssystem?“ (Wu Ying and the private financial sector - Corruption or malfunctioning legal system?), 06/08/2012 
2012/08“Popularität von 'Roten Liedern' steigt rasant in chinesischer Gesellschaft" (Popularity of “red songs" is strongly increasing in Chinese society), 05/08/2012
2012/06“Dämme in China – von Flutkontrolle zu Wegen aus der Wasserknappheit" (Dams in China - From controlling floods to solutions against water shortages), 18/06/2012
2011/12“Parlamentswahlen provozieren Massenproteste in Russland – Reaktionen chinesischer Blogger" (Parliamentary elections provoke mass protests in Russia - Chinese bloggers' reactions), 28/12/2011


Talks at Academic Conferences, Seminars, Workshops

2022/03Conference for the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), University of Hawai'i, USA
“Accessing Care Services across China's Rural Urban Divide: An Analysis of Nanjing, China"
2021/11Conference of the Working Group of Social Science Research on China, German Association for Asian Studies (ASC)
“Elder care service development across China's urban-rural divide – The case of Hangzhou"
2020/08Conference of the Association of Cultural Heritage Studies (ACHS), UCL, UK
"Common, Luxury and Fake Commodities: Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Markets in China" AND "Translating Value - The Politics of Localising “Intangible Heritage" in China"
2020/01BISA Interpretivism in International Relations Working Group “Translation in World Politics" Conference, SOAS, University of London, UK
“Doing Things with Global Words – The Strategic Translation of UNESCO Concepts in China"
2019/04German Association for Asian Studies (DGA) Conference, Wuerzburg, Germany
“Between Commerce and Community: Elder Care Services in Urban China"
2018/09LSE Workshop “Government Contracting of Welfare Services to NGOs in China"
“Contracting elder care services and the private sector"
2018/09Conference of the Association of Cultural Heritage Studies (ACHS), Hangzhou, China
“Mobilizing for ICH safeguarding: The political and social indigenization of UNESCO norms in China" AND “Enhanced Agency or Exploitation? Ambiguous Effects of the Chinese ICH Inheritors Program"
2018/03Association of Asian Studies (AAS), Washington DC, USA
“Moving from Outside to Within: An Analysis of Non-State Actor Political Participation in Chinese Governance Dynamics"
2017/0712th Interpretive Policy Analysis International Conference, Leicester, UK
Organization of Panel: “Rethinking Cultural Policy: Power, Politics and Public Contestation"; Talk: “Can cultural policy enhance non-state actors' agency in authoritarian China? The case of the ICH Inheritors Program"
2017/063rd International Conference on Public Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore
“Facing the Ageing Crisis: A Comparison of Financing Systems for Long-term Care Provision in East Asia"; AND “Implementing the UNESCO Living Human Treasure System in China: A Comparative Analysis"
2016/10Protecting the Weak: Concepts and East Asian Evidence, gemeinsam organized by Goethe University Frankfurt and Lingnan University, Hong Kong
“Local appropriation of international norms in East Asia: The case of cultural heritage" (with Ioan Trifu)
2016/0711th Interpretive Policy Analysis 11th International Conference, Hull, UK
“Disseminating Narratives of 'Threatened Traditional Culture' in Chinese Policy-Making"
2016/06Conference of the Association of Cultural Heritage Studies (ACHS), Montreal, Canada
“Where East Meets West: Comparing UNESCO's Impact on Domestic Cultural Governance Systems" (with Ioan Trifu) AND “Conceptualizing Living Heritage in China: The Contested Chinese ICH Discourse (mit Yujie Zhu)
2015/0710. Interpretative Policy Analysis Conference, Lille, France
"Becoming a gatekeeper of the past: Analyzing the role of policy networks in Chinese cultural heritage politics“
2015/06Conference “Cultural Heritage in China: Contested Understandings, Images and Practices“, Lund University, Sweden
“China's Living Human Treasures Policy: A success story in ICH protection?"
2015/01Graduate Conference of the German Association for Asian Studies, Burg Rothenfels, Germany
“Chinas 'Living Human Treasures': Eine vergleichende Untersuchung von immateriellem Kulturerbe-Schutz auf Lokaler Ebene"
2014/12Conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS), ANU, Canberra, Australia
“Protecting the Weak? A Comparative Analysis of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China and Japan" (with Ioan Trifu)
2014/07XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan
“Promoting intangible cultural heritage protection through research" (mit Heike Holbig)
2013/03Graduate Conference for East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, Canada
“Inventing a socialist tradition– Promoting socialist traditions for political instrumentalization"
2013/03Graduate Research Conference (PSGSO), University of South Carolina, USA
“Inventing a socialist tradition– Promoting socialist traditions for political instrumentalization"
2013/0212th East-West Graduate Student Conference‏, University of Hawai'i, USA
“Inventing a socialist tradition– Promoting socialist traditions for political instrumentalization"
2012/09New York Conference on Asian Studies, SUNY University, USA
“Inventing a socialist tradition– Promoting socialist traditions for political instrumentalization"
2012/06Inaugural Conference of the Association of Cultural Heritage Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
“Framing Intangible Cultural Heritage in China" (with Heike Holbig)