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CHINA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION: Scientific Exchange in Dynamic Regions

The EU is a highly observed object of research in China. The Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) has become an important centre for visiting Chinese researchers. “Scholars who have studied in Mannheim do not only take their new knowledge home with them" says Dr. Fabrice Larat, project director at the MZES.

According to Prof. Dr. Zhang Jun, a political scientist from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Peking, Chinese political scientists have for a long time concentrated on American political science authors. Today however, there is a strong demand for substantiated information on the EU and knowledge from European research institutions is a great enrichment. Therefore Jun has been a guest at the Mannheimer Centre for European Social Research (MZES) since January 2007, where she is examining the external relations and the foreign aid policy of the EU. The central question for the cooperation of CASS and MZES is to which degree the model EU character can be transferred onto a different international region. Jun commented that Europe has for example a lot of experience with the development of political institutions and that this information could be of great significance for the Asian area. Jun thus sees the cooperation with the MZES as being highly important, “My colleagues and I have made very positive experiences with the excellent research conditions in Mannheim. I hope that our collarboration will continue in the future and that we will have more German colleagues to visit us in Beijing.” Prof. Dr. Beate Kohler-Koch and Dr. Fabrice Larat, two political scientists in Mannheim have initiated this process and are both often in China as guests. Their books respectively on the EU’s political system and on the history of European integration have been translated into Chinese and are going to be used for teaching at several universities across China. According to Fabrice Larat, it is already possible to notice encouraging progress from the exchange with young Chinese academics, “Scholars who have studied in Mannheim do not only take their new knowledge home with them. The contact with European colleagues, new research methods and other viewpoints, often also leads to a widening of their intellectual horizon.” His colleague Zhang Jun also assures that Europe is no longer only seen as America’s little sister, “The EU is now an independent, international political actor, which is of growing importance to China.” An example of this increasing relevance can be seen in the European-Asian dialogue forum ASEM (Asia-Europe-Meeting), which discusses multilateral cooperation in economics, politics, education, culture, ecology and environmental protection. The collaboration between the MZES and the Chinese Academy has already existed for seven years and is supported by the EU through the European Studies Centres Programme. Up until now 14 Chinese academics have been guests in Mannheim, some of them have even been several times. For further contact please write or call: Dr. Fabrice Larat University of Mannheim – MZES D-68131 Mannheim Germany Tel: +49 621 181 2840 Cell: +49 175 723 5264 Fax: +49 621 181 2845 Email: Or Nikolaus Hollermeier University of Mannheim – MZES Office of Communications D-68131 Mannheim Germany Tel: +49 621 181 2839 Fax: +49 621 181 2866 Email: Additionally, for more information: • Beate Kohler-Koch, Thomas Conzelmann, Michèle Knodt, „Ou Zhou Yi Ti Hua He Ou Meng Zhi Li“, Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2004 [Chinese edition of „Europäische Integration – Europäisches Regieren“, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2004] • Fabrice Larat, “Ou Zhou Yi Ti Hua Shi“. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2005, [Chinese edition of “Histoire politique de l’intégration européenne”, Paris: La Documentation Française, 2003, enlarged with documents on the history of European integration] • Zhang Jun, Zhou Hong, “Donors in China – A source of Chinese model of development”, Beijing: Social Science Documents Press, 2007.


Scientific Exchange EU - China


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