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Sinologie in Würzburg

Prof. Dr. Björn Alpermann

Chair of Contemporary Chinese Studies

Björn Alpermann, Dr. phil, was born in 1972 and has been chair of ‘Contemporary Chinese Studies’ at the University of Würzburg since January 2013.

Björn Alpermann is currently speaker of the Joint Research Center 'Worldmaking from a Global Perspective: A Dialogue with China' (Federal Ministry of Edcuation and Research (BMBF); 2020 – 2023) and principal investigator (PI), together with Prof. Dr. Elena Meyer-Clement (University of Copenhagen) of the sub-project ‘Social Worlds: China’s Cities as Spaces of Worldmaking’. (project homepage). In addition he is one of three PIs in the EU-funded project "Remote Ethnography of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Remote XUAR)" (2023-2025) (more information). From 2017 to 2018, Björn Alpermann was PI of the BMBF-funded project 'Facing a Grey Society: Social Institutions of Care for the Elderly in China'. From 2010 to 2016, he was coordinator of competence network ‘Governance in China’, also funded by the BMBF and head of the sub-project ‘Social Stratification and Political Culture in Contemporary Urban China’.

Academic career

Björn Alpermann studied Modern Chinese Studies, Economics and Political Science at the University of Cologne and Nankai University, Tianjin (PR China) from whence he graduated in 1999 with a degree in Regional Studies China.

From 1999 to 2008 he was research assistant in the field of Modern Chinese History/Politics, Economy and Society at the East Asian Seminar of the University of Cologne. He completed his doctorate in Modern China Studies in 2006. The title of his dissertation was: 'Economic Transformation and State Capacity: The Case of the Chinese Cotton Sector'.

In the summer of 2007, he completed a six-month research stay at the University of California, Berkley's Center for Chinese Studies on 'The Social and Political Role of Private Entrepreneurship in China'.

From 2008 to 2013 he was junior professor for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Würzburg.

In the summer semester 2011 and winter semester 2011/12, Prof. Dr. Alpermann represented the new Chair of Chinese Economics (now: China Business and Economics).

He has undertaken regular research visits to the People’s Republic of China.

Field of research and teaching

  • Politics in rural China, village self-governance
  • Political systems of the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
  • Protests and democracy movements
  • Social change and political culture
  • Politics of economic reform
  • Population policy
  • Minority politics (Xinjiang and Tibet)

Publications and conference participation

See list of publications, lectures, conference participations and media activities.


Follow my work on academia.edu, resarchgate.net and ORCID (0000-0002-2493-3011)