The European Education Directory

East Asian Regional Studies

By Professor Flemming Christiansen
Chair of Political Sociology of China
Director Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST
University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Why East Asian Regional Studies?

East Asia is an emerging region whose countries belong to the most dynamic and economically most important ones in the world. In terms of globalization and growing international interdependences in economy, society and politics, this rapidly increasing economic and geopolitical importance of East Asia indubitably lead to a constantly rising demand for experts of the region.

Such experts are expected to possess extensive knowledge of East Asia, of its countries and regional aspects. They should be skilled in an East Asian language and in social interaction, be familiar with East Asian cultures and habits, and, even more, should command adequate scientific tools in order to competently assess and evaluate social, political and economic developments of and resulting challenges for East Asia as well as implications for Europe arising from such developments.


Expertise in questions of contemporary developments in East Asia, of accompanying changes and risks as well as resulting implications within a network of global players are highly sought after by employers. The refinement and deepening of knowledge and skills in the field of East Asian regional studies thus offer a new horizon of professional opportunities, preparing for either an academic career (with further studies at the doctoral level) or a professional employment in, e.g., high-level positions in multinational corporations, in politics – including political consulting –, in governmental and non-governmental think-tanks, or in international organizations.

Why postgraduate study at the Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST, University of Duisburg-Essen?

Engaged in both research and education on East Asia, the IN-EAST with its more than 30 scholars from different disciplines in the social and economic sciences is the most comprehensive university institute committed to contemporary East Asian studies in Germany. It is engaged in several demanding study programs on East Asia, all on basis of a solid disciplinary education. The overall aim is to train highly qualified young people for careers in the fields of economy, politics, society and science. Also caring for the support and promotion of young scientists, the DFG funded Research Training Group Risk & East Asia within the IN-EAST provides opportunity to continue studies on doctoral level. With its basically social and economic sciences oriented East Asian studies and its focus on practical relevance and application, the IN-EAST clearly differentiates from philological-historical approaches of regional studies as they are dominant in Germany.

Two master programs (course languages are English and Japanese or Chinese) are on offer:

Master Program Contemporary East Asian Studies MA CEAS (2-year / 4 semesters)
Master Program Modern East Asian Studies MA MEAS (1-year / 2 semesters)

Both MA programs include intensive language training and/or refinement in either Japanese or Chinese on a par with the (further) development and deepening of knowledge in disciplinary methods and theories on the one hand, and of regionally specific, deeper disciplinary as well as broader interdisciplinary knowledge of East Asia on the other. Students may specialise in key areas of interest. They will give proof of their gained expertise by means of their master thesis, demonstrating the excellence of the attained theoretical, methodological and regional capabilities as well as language skills on the basis of an independent research project about a cutting-edge theme in contemporary East Asia.

The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), located between the Rhine and Ruhr at the heart of Europe, belongs to the ten largest universities in Germany. Some 31,000 students from 130 countries are currently enrolled, making use of about 100 study programs on offer. In many disciplines the UDE ranks amongst the TOP 10 of German research universities. Apart from the subject, there are plenty of good reasons for choosing the UDE, like the level of student support and supervision, strong research or the international outlook. The UDE is highly committed to offering students the best possible conditions in which to study and work and does so with a range of different measures, e.g. a comprehensive mentoring system designed to lend students precisely the individual support they need throughout their studies and at exam time, and a very successful participation in the North Rhine-Westphalia Scholarship Programme supporting talented and ambitious students from at home and abroad.


Please refer to the IN-EAST web site for further details:
Contact us in case of further questions:
Helmut Demes (Managing Director)
Tel.: +49 203 379-4191
E-mails: (for MA CEAS), (for MA MEAS), (in general)

Visitor’s address:
University of Duisburg-Essen
Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST
Building LE, 7th floor, room LE 712
Campus Duisburg
Forsthausweg/Lotharstr. 65,
47057 Duisburg, GERMANY

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