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News from NIAS

NIAS is moving

Entrance on Øster Farimagsgade 5.NIAS will be moving to new premises at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Copenhagen from 2-4 October and NIAS Library from 4-12 October. 

Due to the moving it will not be possible to visit NIAS 2-4 October or NIAS Library 4-12 October. We apologize for the inconvenience.
The new address of NIAS:
NIAS- Nordic Institute of Asian Studies,
University of Copenhagen, City Campus,
Øster Farimagsgade 5,
DK - 1353, Copenhagen K.

Nearest station for local trains and metro is Nørreport station.

There will be no change in our phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

NIAS opening hours: Mon-Friday 10.00-16.00.

The reading room and collections of NIAS Library will be in Gothersgade 140, 1 fl at the Faculty Library of the Social Sciences, a few minutes’ walk from the offices of NIAS.
This means opening hours will be greatly increased.
The new opening hours for NIAS Library:
Monday-Friday : 08.00 – 22.00
Saturday-Sunday : 10.00 – 16.00

Postal address to NIAS library will be the same as for NIAS.

NIAS Library will be closed for visitors 4-12 October. We plan to open again in week 42.

Please note that there might be unexpected problems and disturbances in access to the e-resources via the AsiaPortal for some time after the moving.

Please let us know if you are experiencing access problems to any of the e-resources by sending an email to or calling +45 353 29510. 

2nd CFP 6th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference at Aalto University, Nov. 27-30, 2012

China's Economy and Society: Regional and global implications of a growing Chinese influence

The conference and PhD Course are co-organized by NIAS and the Center for Markets in Transition (CEMAT) and the Department of Management and International Business at Aalto University School of Business.

Conference 27-28 November and PhD Course 29-30 November.

The conference will mainly focus on the increasingly prominent Chinese economy that has a growing impact both on the regional and global levels. What drives China’s economic and political expansion, and under what circumstances can this growth be assumed to continue? What kind of implications does the ‘rising China’ have in the economic, societal, and political scene in other Asian countries, and elsewhere? What is the relationship between politics and business in the Chinese hybrid economy? Will the strategic sectors of the economy continue to be dominated by large state-owned enterprises under Party control?
Hence, the conference will discuss the 'rising China' and its influence on the economies, societies, and politics of wider Asia, as well as other parts of the world.

The following keynote speakers will inspire our proceedings

  • Bruce Dickson, Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Linda Jakobson, Director, East Asia Program, Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Riitta Kosonen, Professor, Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University School of Business
  • Claes Alvstam, Professor, Centre for International Business Studies, Univ. of Gothenburg
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Professor, Asia Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School
  • Pang Zhongying, Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University

Confirmed commentators at the PhD course are:

  • Bruce Dickson, Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Professor, Asia Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School
  • Timo Kaartinen, Professor, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
  • Erja Kettunen-Matilainen, Research Manager, Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University, School of Business
  • Bent Nielsen, Associate Professor, Department of Cross-Cultural and regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Matti Nojonen, Department of Management and International Business, Aalto University School of Business
  • Pang Zhongying, Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University


  • 8 October 2012: Deadline for submitting abstract (maximum 300 words)
  • 22 October 2012: Acceptance of abstracts by Academic Committee
  • 12 November 2012: Deadline for submitting the full paper

For more information go to the conference website:

New Worksplace Students at NIAS

NIAS has the pleasure of welcoming two new workplace students this month, Marie Ditlevsen and Tippe Eisner.

Marie Ditlevsen is working on her master's thesis in International Development Studies, at the department for  International Development Studies and Communication at Roskilde University (RUC).

The topic of her thesis is The interrelationship between development work and the 
democratic reforms in Burma. Marie's empirical basis is a Danida-supported
ActionAid project in  Burma, which she will be visiting in November.

Tippe Eisner has a BA in Indonesian and Southeast Asian Studies and is currently doing a master in cross-cultural studies at the department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. She is interested in cross-cultural encounters and the possibilities as well as challenges they bring along. Tippe's area of regional specialization is Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in Indonesia. Other areas of interests include Indonesia's democratic transition, Indonesia's foreign policy, globalization, development, diplomacy, and cultural translation. The overall theme for the master thesis is the cultural challenges which Danish businesses may be experiencing upon entering this “new” Indonesian market, and how to address these, in order for these businesses to become successful (for Denmark as well as Indonesia).

Ras Tind Nielsen in Aftenshowet

NIAS research assistant Ras Tind Nielsen has visited "Aftenshowet" on Danish Television DR1 to talk about the Gu Kailai trial.
(15 min. in)

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Zhang Jiahua, PhD, University of Bergen and Nanjing University
Topic: Social Policy Development in the Nordic Welfare States and Its Implications for Chinese Social Construction

Suvi Paavola, MA, University of Helsinki
Topic: The revision debate of the article 9 of the Japanese constitution

Call for Sino-Nordic Networks with higher education, research and innovation

The Nordic Council of Ministers invites Nordic university networks to apply for funding to establish networks between Nordic universities and universities and other partners in the wider Shanghai area.

China has become an increasingly important partner for Nordic universities, innovation actors and companies. For this reason the Nordic Council of Ministers now wishes to contribute to the future development of the Nordic Center at the Fudan University in Shanghai as an “hub” for SINO-Nordic collaboration within the whole “knowledge triangle”.

NIAS director Geir Helgesen to give IIAS Annual lecture

A user's manual to North Korea: Matters and issues that shape relations between them and us

IIAS Annual Lecture 2012, 19 September by Dr. Geir Helgesen (Director, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies)
Regardless of the general lack of solid information about North Korea, few countries with such a relatively insignificant international importance appear more often in the media. This summer a new leader has electrified media outlets by being seen with a young lady by his side. Although this is positive compared with former causes for international media attention, such as the testing of nuclear devices and other military activities, or natural disasters and consequent human suffering, our picture of North Korea is less than adequate. This notwithstanding, there are good reasons for paying attention to the media coverage, as it is this – and not much else – that forms our ideas and impressions of the country. By being relatively inaccessible and representing some kind of international abnormality, the media creates a framework within which North Korea can be dealt with, and this framework affects the main public, as well as scholars in the field. Characterized as the last communist dictatorship in a world increasingly liberated by the expansion of free market economies and liberal democracy, North Korea appears basically to be a remnant from a recent past. With the ever dominant picture of a Stalinist-like dictator as the front figure of a system inhumane in its core functions, the nuances tend to not only disappear, but even to be unwanted. The lecture will challenge this framework and offer a different approach to the country, and thus hint to what could be a user’s manual to North Korea.
IIAS (International Institute for Asian Studies) annual lectures are organised to bring together all those interested in Asia, including academics, students, politicians, business representatives and journalists. IIAS is based in Leiden, the Netherlands.
Registration is free of charge. Please register here:

NIAS Director Geir Helgesen in Orientering

Kinas anstrengelser i Nordkorea bærer frugt

30 års kinesiske anstrengelser for at vise Nordkorea fortræffelighederne ved økonomisk udvikling ser ud til omsider at have båret frugt. Det kan måske bidrage til, at Kinas forstokkede og atombevæbnede nabo bliver mere tilregnelig.
Tredje generation af Nordkoreas lukkede ledelse, den unge Kim Jung-un, har gennem sin onkel aftalt med Kina i grænseområdet mellem de to lande at oprette tre udviklingszoner, med blandt andet tekstilindustri, IT og turisme.
Orientering spurgte Geir Helgesen, leder ved Institut for Asienstudier, om hvorfor det først sker nu.

Cecilia Milwertz at "Gender Dynamics in the 21st Century"

Cecilia Milwertz will give a keynote speech ’Feminist China Studies – personal reflections on research collaboration between scholars from China and Denmark’ at the workshop Gender Dynamics in the 21st Century held at Peking University 30-31 August.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together scholars from Copenhagen University with scholars from Peking University and other universities in China in order to investigate possibilities for developing collaborative research projects.

The workshop is funded by the Welfare and Social Science theme of the Sino-Danish University Centre in Beijing

The workshop is convened in collaboration between the Co-ordination for Gender Studies, University of Copenhagen, the Department of Sociology, Peking University, the Women’s Studies center, Peking University, the Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, the Center for Studies in Legal Culture, Copenhagen University and NIAS.

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Erja-Liisa Lappalainen, MA, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Turku
Topic: “Soft” censorship in China’s social media platforms from the users’ perspective

Henrik Hvenegaard Mikkelsen, PhD, Aarhus Universitet
Topic: Headhunters in the Philippines