Transnationalisation in East Asia

Transnational interaction, processes, and structures have become increasingly important in today’s world; let it be in the economic, social, political, or cultural realm. However, transnationalisation does not necessarily proceed at the global level, but is often regional in scope. At AREA Ruhr we concentrate our research on transnationalisation in East Asia, one of the most vibrant and increasingly influential world regions, and specifically scrutinize East Asian regional institution building, identity-formation, and the interaction between both processes. By applying regional, transnational, and comparative approaches to the study of East Asia, we aim at overcoming the narrow, one single-country focus still dominant in the field.

What is more, the traditional scholarship on East Asia deals either with the language, culture and history of one particular country, or with social, political, and economic phenomena within one individual state. At AREA Ruhr our goal is to transcend this artificial separating line between the humanities/cultural studies on the one hand and social/economic sciences on the other, firmly basing our research on multidisciplinary perspectives instead. Such an approach allows us to explain the complex interaction of social, political, economic, historical and cultural developments in East Asian institution building and identity-formation in a well-informed and highly nuanced way, and to make important contributions to the emerging scholarship on transnationalisation.

AREA Ruhr’s approach of aligning transnational and transcultural perspectives on regional institution building and identity formation is also reflected in its two innovative study programs. These are a one-year master program in Transnational East Asian Studies (MA TEAS) and a three-year doctoral program on Transnational Institutions and Transnational Communities in East Asia.

AREA Ruhr doctoral programme

The structured three-year doctoral programme on Transnational Institution Building and Transnational Identities in East Asia aims to advance knowledge on East Asian regional institution building, identity formation, and the interaction between both processes throughout history and today. By applying transnational and comparative approaches to the study of East Asia, the programme looks beyond national borders and seeks to unleash the potential of combining humanities and social sciences and to base research projects on interdisciplinary perspectives. Participating scholars allocate their research within three larger sub-themes related to transnationalisation:

  • transnational labour
  • regional institution building
  • transcultural identities and institutions: universalization and localization.

Supported bei MERCUR,  AREA Ruhr now invites applications for up to four doctoral stipends to study Transnational Institution Building and Transnational Identities in East Asia benign in the winter term 2017/18.

MA Transnational East Asian Studies

Students will critically engage with questions of cultural, economic, political, and social perspectives on the processes that have shaped and continue to transform the East Asian region. Along these topics, the programme aims to deepen students’ knowledge of East Asia beyond national foci, integrating theories and methods from the social sciences and humanities.

Detailed information on the MA programme will be released soon.

BA and MA courses and classes at AREA Ruhr

Both the Faculty of East Asian Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum and IN-EAST at University Duisburg-Essen offer a number of German or English-language BA and MA programmes, covering a wide range of regional and language specialisations as well as disciplines from the humanities and social sciences. 

AREA Ruhr would also like to encourage our BA and MA students to make use of the classes offered by IN-EAST and the Faculty of East Asian Studies.