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News from NIAS

Workshop: The Internal and External Constraints on Foreign Policy in India. Exploring Culture and Ethnic Sensitivities

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 09:30 to Friday, May 8, 2015 - 18:00

NIAS and the Department of Political Science at the University of Aalborg invites you to attend a workshop on The Internal and External Constraints on Foreign Policy in India. Exploring Culture and Ethnic Sensitivities.

The workshop is open for participation, but registration is necessary.
Please contact Inge Merete Ejsing-Duun.
Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Øster Farimagsgade 5, DK-1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark
See programme and further information in the attached file.
The workshop is organized by Department of Political Science, Aalborg University and NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen in collaboration with partner universities in India and Denmark and financed with generous support by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.



Asia brown bag lecture: Michael Alexander Ulfstjerne

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 12:00 to 13:00
NIAS and ADI invite you to a brown bag lecture by Michael Alexander Ulfstjerne from the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. 
Un-real Estate: The Social Life of Temporary Wealth in China.
Building on work from his doctoral dissertation Michael Ulfstjerne's talk traces a local economic boom in Inner Mongolia, China into its subsequent bust. It gives an account of how state as well as non-state actors appropriate state development schemes and the unintended effects resulting from the colluding forces of plan and profit. Through the attitudes, perceptions, and forms of sociality that constituted an actual economic bubble (and its subsequent collapse) the dissertation provides ethnographic detail relevant for understanding contemporary China and the social effects of state-led urbanization.
Michael Alexander Ulfstjerne is a PhD fellow at the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. His dissertation entitled Un-real Estate: The Social Life of Temporary Wealth in China was published in January 2015.
Time: 21 April 2015, 12:00-13:00
Place: NIAS, CSS, room 18.1.08
Feel free to bring your own lunch. There will be coffee/tea.

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Monday, March 16, 2015

Linus Fredriksson, MA, Lund
Topic: China and cinematic science-fiction: Lost in space? A study of mise-en-scéne and narrative themes in Chinese science fiction film.

Henry Kröger, MA, Lund
Topic: Micro finances in India.




First issue of Asia in Focus launched and Call for Articles for issue 2

Asia in Focus first issue launched

NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies is very proud to present the first issue of Asia in Focus - a Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers.  NIAS has run the blog IN FOCUS since 2007, providing academics and researchers a forum for discussions on current issues in Asia. We wanted to take advantage of this platform and create a space for Master’s and Ph.D. students to develop and publish their research. 

This new journal is the result of almost a year of intensive planning. When we launched the idea publicly the feedback was overwhelmingly positive and during the past year the editorial committee has had the pleasure of reading many interesting and well-written manuscripts.  We would like to thank both the members of the editorial committee and the authors in the first issue who made it all happen!

The first issue is now ready for launch. The journal can be found on the homepage It is also available at, our Nordic platform for Asia relevant resources for academics working on Asia. This first issue covers a variety of topics including Japan’s family friendly policies, public litigation rights in China, and the freedom of previously bonded Hilaya laborers in Nepal.

Enjoy the read!

Call for Articles for Issue 2

Asia in Focus invites Master students and Ph.D. students from the humanities and social sciences, who are affiliated to a Nordic institution, to submit an essay or academic article on a subject involving one or more Asian countries (from Central Asia to Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand). We require a high academic level with a focused and readable style. If you are have an interesting idea but are not sure if the topic will suit Asia in Focus, please feel free to contact us with a description of your proposed article. 
More information can be found here.
For all enquiries email us at

The journal will be freely available for download and online reading at
Important dates

Deadline for paper submission: 4 May 2015
Publication date: October 2015



NIAS' project coordinator on maternity leave

NIAS' project coordinator and centre administrator, Katrine Herold, will be going on maternity leave from 6. march 2015 until march 2016. Natalie Wheeler will take up the position from 7. April and until Katrine returns.
In the interim period please use the

The last couple of years Natalie has worked as programme manager at the Nordic Centre Fudan in Shanghai.
Natalie has previously been a workplace student and student assistant at NIAS and we look forward to welcoming her back.

Xenia Kjær Skarbye new Research Assistant at NIAS

Xenia Kjær Skarbye is a Danish postgraduate student at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, where she is currently studying towards a degree in Global Refugee Studies. Before her studies in Denmark, Xenia obtained a MSc and BSc at Oxford Brookes University in International Relations, combined with International Management and Economics, respectively. Having lived in Beijing during high school and having a strong interest in China, Xenia is at NIAS to assist Cecilia Milwertz in her research.

Asia brown bag lecture: Jong Kun Choi

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 12:00 to 13:00

ADI and NIAS invite you to a brown bag lecture by Jong Kun Choi, Associate Professor & Director Of Graduate Studies at the Dept. of Political Science and International Studies, Yonsei University.

North Korea, an Impossible State?
Why and how Sunshine Policy to North Korea deserves another chance after 7 years.

How should we deal with North Korea infamous for nuclear development, ballistic missile tests, kidnapping, military provocations and human rights violations? How do you denuclearize North Korea so paranoid of its security? How do we encourage North Korea to come out of isolation and end confrontation in the Korean peninsula?  Many argue that North Korea is an impossible state that cannot be trusted; it constantly deceives and defies the international community. Therefore, unless North Korea seriously changes its delinquent behaviors, the international community continues to pressure and sanction Pyongyang.

Current SUPRA students at NIAS

Monday, March 2, 2015

Emma Björner, Phd, Stockholm University

Topic: Imagineering cities: Place branding in five Chinese mega-cities

Santa Stopniece, PhD, University of Jyväskylä
Topic: Intercultural communication of Chinese-Finnish investment initiatives

Martin Lundqvist new student assistant at NIAS

Martin Lundqvist is a Swedish master's student of political science at Lund University, Sweden, where his main areas of interest are the politics of south east Asia and peacebuilding. Additionally, he holds a bachelor degree in peace and conflict studies from Malmö University. Moreover, Martin has been interning at the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong, and has also been employed with the organization to support their human rights monitoring in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Martin will assist with the daily activities of NIAS SUPRA and NIAS Linc.

Jong Kun Choi guest researcher at NIAS

Jong Kun Choi  is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Studies at Yonsei University. He was Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration, Director of Graduate Studies and Faculty-Editor-in-Chief of Annals (the oldest College English News Magazine in Korea) at Yonsei University. He manages the Nordic Research Program as Director at Yonsei University’s Institute of East and West Studies. 

Choi stays at NIAS for 2015 spending his sabbatical and plans to write a book on Northeast Asia’s security and several academic articles to be published with academic journals. 

Choi specializes in International Relations theories, Northeast Asian security, political psychology and public opinions on national identity and foreign policy attitudes.
His academic articles have so far appeared in International Security, Global Asia, Asian Perspective, Korea Journal of Defense Analysis, Korea and World Politics, Korean Political Science Review, International Relations of the Asia Pacific and Korean Journal of International Studies. He has about 10 book chapters and 5 edited volumes both in English and Korean.He is also a regular commentator of Northeast Asian security affairs on CNN, Bloomberg, YTN, MBC, KBS and CBS of Korea, Press TV of Iran, Le Monde, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, CCTV of China, Wall Street Journal, and Sydney Morning Herald. He contributed monthly columns to Seoul Daily and Kyunghayng Daily in Korea.  He is member of advisory councils at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Unification. He is a fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar, Salzburg, Austria from 2011 and Research Associate for East Asian Peace project at the Department of Peace Research at Uppsala University, Sweden. Dr. Choi received his Ph.D from the Department of Political Science, the Ohio State University, in 2006 and his MA in Political Science from Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, in 2000, and his BA in Political Science from the University Of Rochester, NY in 1998. He went to All Saints’ College for his high school education in Bathurst, NSW, Australia. 
Choi's official homepage is