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News from NIAS

We welcome two new SUPRA students at NIAS!

Kati Hiltunen, MA student, University of Helsinki

The country image of Finland in China

I am a M.A. student of Chinese studies at the University of Helsinki. With a B.Sc. degree in human geography, I am interested in topics such as nationalism and constructing identities, and am at the moment writing my master’s thesis on Finland’s country image in China. For my thesis I am conducting a survey in China to look into what Finland is known for and what different components and aspects its country image consists of in the Chinese markets.


Suvi Kurki, MA student, University of Turku

Finding a New Narrative of Chinese Business Leadership

The research goal is to determine how Chinese business leadership is viewed by young Chinese people. The study seeks to answer the following questions: How do Chinese university business students talk about leadership? and What kind of differences are there between the Chinese business leadership described by Western scholars and young Chinese people? The data consists of 112 empathy-based stories written by Chinese university students. 


New SUPRA students at NIAS

Sidsel Rasmussen, PhD, University of Aarhus

Perceptual assimilation of Mandarin Chinese consonants by native Danish listeners

“My project aims to map the potential problems of native Danish speaking learners’ spoken Mandarin Chinese (MC)  by assessing their perception, discrimination and production of  selected MC phones. I am particularly interested in the rich MC inventory of fricatives and affricates which probably constitute the most novel sounds for native Danish learners of MC. My first experiment investigates the perceptual assimilation of (nearly) the full set of MC initial consonants as perceived by native Danish speakers without any experience with MC. The assimilation patterns yield predictions about discrimination problems of which some resonate anecdotal classroom observations.”


Anh Nguyen Quoc, MA, University of Helsinki

The politics of land grabbing in Vietnam

New SUPRA students at NIAS

Saana Santalahti, MA student, Helsinki

Language attitudes of young Okinawans

I am a MA student from the University of Helsinki, majoring in East Asian Studies. I'm interested in sociolinguistics, language endangerment and language education. Currently I'm working on a MA thesis related to the language attitudes of young Okinawans and the revitalisation of the Ryukyuan languages.


Anna Bruun Pedersen, MA student, Aarhus

The self-identity of Japanese Ha-fus/Doubles and how they are constructed in the Japanese society

I am currently working on my MA thesis focusing on the differences between the self-identity of bi-ethnic individuals (known in Japan as haafu, doubles or mixed-roots, among others) and the portrayal and construction of them in Japanese media.


FES Film Migration and Development

Nias guest researcher Bonn Juego participated in a conference on "Migration and Development: Global Perspectives, Progressive Approaches" organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung early December 2016.

Short videos of the conference have been made


Fudan-European Centre for China Studies extends its contract for another 4 years

Laying a New Milestone

Fudan President Xu Ningsheng visited Copenhagen University and extended the contract of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies for a second term.
From 23rd to 24th of November, 2016, Professor Xu Ningsheng, President of Fudan University visited University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and extended the contract of Fudan-European Centre for China Studies for a second term of four years (2017-2021).  His visit was accompanied by Dr. Zhu Chouwen, director of Fudan Foreign Affairs Office, Prof. Chen Wen, dean of School of Public Health, Dr. Zhang Yi, executive dean of Fudan Development Institute (FDDI) and Prof. Liu Jiping from School of International Relations and Public Affair. The delegation was well received at UCPH and the visit has created a new chapter for Fudan Center and generated new dynamics for Fudan-UCPH collaboration.

Sanae Suzuki Guest Researcher at NIAS

Monday, October 31, 2016 to Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sanae Suzuki will be a guest researcher at NIAS from November 2016 - October 2018. Her research will be on conflict management by regional organizations.

Sanae is a research fellow at Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO). IDE-JETRO is a research institution dealing with political, economic and social issues in developing economies and countries. She has been taken the part of international relations in Southeast Asia, in particular, the role of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in this region. In 2011, she received PhD at University of Tokyo. Her PhD thesis analyses how the member states of ASEAN accommodate their conflicting interests in political-security fields from institutional perspectives. In 2014, she published the thesis chapters into the academic book titled ASEAN Governance as a Consensus-Building Model: the Chairship System in International Politics, University of Tokyo Press, 2014. This book is written in Japanese, if you can read the summary of the argument in English, please access to Chairship System and Decision Making by Consensus in International Agreements: The Case of ASEAN,” IDE Discussion Papers, No.471, July 2014.  (

As a gust researcher at NIAS, Sanae will work on the research topic ‘conflict management by regional organizations.’ With her research on ASEAN, she attempts to conduct comparative analysis including not only ASEAN, but also other regional organizations in the world, in particular in Africa, to investigate how decisions on conflict management are made in regional organizations.

Welcome to our two new SUPRA Students!

Gary Pence, MA, University of Turku

A History to Open the Future: Obstacles and Possibilities of Joint History Projects in Northeast Asia
This research focuses on the history book "A History to Open the Future", written by history scholars and teachers from China, Japan and South Korea and published in 2005. The book is the first history book jointly created by the three countries in Northeast Asia and seeks to overcome the history problems that continue to hinder relations in the region. For this research I interviewed the authors of the book and history teachers in Japan and South Korea to learn more about the obstacles and possibilities such a joint history book faces in its creation and use in the region. 
Awais Arifeen, PhD, Norwegian University of Life Sciences 
Post Disaster Sanitation, People’s Vulnerability and Humanitarian Assistance
In my PhD research work, I am studying the role of social and health vulnerability in defining the underlying risks and intensity of impacts of the disasters in Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. Baltistan is a highly mountainous remote area that frequently experiences landslides, debris flow, avalanches, flash flooding and glacial lake outburst flooding. Therefore, I am also studying how various government and non-government organisations respond to disasters in the region and what role are they playing in addressing social and health vulnerability to prevent recurring disasters.


Kasper Ørntoft Thor New student assistant at the Fudan-European Centre for China Studies

Kasper is a MA student of Chinese studies at the University of Copenhagen with a background in linguistics.

In the course of the last year Kasper has been pursuing his studies in Taiwan, where he studied a semester at National Taiwan University and later undertook a six months internship at the Danish Trade Council, Taipei, to learn more about diplomacy and international business and trade, and to improve his Chinese. Now he is busy writing his thesis on Chinese foreign policy and public diplomacy efforts.

With this being the very last semester of his MA program, Kasper is very happy to be back at NIAS, this time working for the Fudan-European Center.

Gitte Marianne Hansen Guest Researcher at NIAS

Dr Gitte Marianen Hansen, Lecturer in Japanese studies at Newcastle University will be spending three month at NIAS. During her time here, she will be working on a book project entitled ‘Women in the world of Murakami Haruki’, which is to be published with Palgrave Macmillan.

Women in the World of Murakami Haruki
"Literary analyses of Murakami’s gender representations have often concluded that his fiction mirrors Japanese patriarchy and positions female characters traditionally as objects for male subjectivities and sexualities. However, as this book shows, Murakami’s works also portray female main characters, protagonists, and narrators who act as subjects in their own worlds. This group of works includes both Murakami's major novels such as 1Q84 as well as many of his less known short stories such as The little green monster and Lederhosen. Through comprehensive analyses of specific female characters across Murakami’s authorship, the purpose of the book is to show the diverse and changing position of female characters in the literature of Japan’s most well known contemporary writer. As I argue, throughout the authorship, female characters include not only the well known ‘mysterious young girl’, but also silent housewives and the serial killer Aomame. This character development interestingly mirrors women’s shifting position and paradoxical empowerment in contemporary Japanese society. Theoretically, the book enters the discussion of male author’s ability and right to construct versions of ‘female’, and overall the book argues that Murakami works show connections to Japanese feminism and reflect women’s reality in contemporary Japan."

New Workplace Student at NIAS

Henriette Bagger is our newest workplace student at NIAS.

Henriette studies at Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, she writes:

My thesis is about Chinese participation in UN peacekeeping missions with a focus on China's contribution to the mission in South Sudan. 

Peacekeeping missions are one of the UN's core activities and the aim is to look deeper into China's engagement in the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan as a reflection of Chinas general engagement in and development within the UN throughout recent years and where it may head in the future.