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Prof. Dr. Tobias ten Brink
Professor of Chinese Economy and Society
Vice-Director, China Global Center at Jacobs University
Social Sciences & Humanities

Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Res. IV
Campus Ring 1
D-28759 Bremen

+49 421 200-3303
t.tenbrink [at]
Research IV, Room 98
Office Hours: 

Wednesdays, 13:00-14:00 (during semester)

Research Interests: 
  • International Relations and Global Political Economy
  • China and large emerging countries
  • Comparative Politics, institutional analysis and institutional change
  • Social Theory and Historical Sociology


New research project: Public-Private Collaboration in China´s Innovative Rise: Effects and Mechanisms (DFG): Globally, states are seeking to improve their economies’ innovation capacities in order to close technology gaps with competitors and world leaders. This is all the more relevant for emerging countries such as China in its attempt to avoid being stuck as a middle-income economy. China’s recent innovative rise can be exemplified by a number of aggregated indicators such as total R&D expenditure and total patent applications. However, the sources of China’s innovative rise are far from comprehensively analyzed. Recent studies on industrial policy for innovation and upgrading stress the beneficial role of public-private collaboration going beyond older forms of state-led developmentalism. This is also reflected in research on the key role of networks to foster innovation in the innovation systems literature. In this project, we will use these insights to better understand the sources of China’s innovative rise, especially among state actors, research institutes and (private and semi-private) firms. The research project is jointly organized by the Chair of Chinese Society and Business at Jacobs University Bremen (Prof. Tobias ten Brink) and the Chair of Institutional and Innovation Economics, especially Japan/East Asia at Goethe University Frankfurt (Prof. Cornelia Storz). The research project is funded by the German Research Foundation DFG (TE 1069/5-1; STO 860/8-1).


Fellowships and Awards: 

“Geisteswissenschaften International” – Award for Translation Funding in the Humanities and Social Sciences by the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, for the monograph “Chinas Kapitalismus. Entstehung, Verlauf, Paradoxien”, 2016

Max Planck Institute postdoctoral research grant, 2009-2011

Humanities International – Award for Translation Funding in the Humanities and Social Sciences by the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, for the PhD thesis “Geopolitik”, 2010

Fritz Thyssen Foundation research grant, 2008-2009

Hans Boeckler Foundation doctoral fellowship, 2004-2007

Research and Teaching Positions: 


Since 2016Professor of Chinese Society and Business, Jacobs University Bremen
2015/16Visiting Professor for International Political Studies, University Witten/Herdecke
2012-2015Research Fellow and Lecturer, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Political Science
2014Theodor Heuss Lecturer, The New School for Social Research, New York
2013Visiting Scholar, MIT (Center for International Studies), Cambridge
2012/13Visiting Scholar, Sun Yat-Sen University (School of Government), Guangzhou, China
11/2012Habilitation (Post-doctoral degree), Goethe University Frankfurt
2009-2012Postdoctoral and Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne
2011Visiting Scholar, East-West-Center, Honolulu
2004-2009Lecturer, University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt
2007PhD, Political Science ("summa cum laude"), University of Frankfurt
2003-2007PhD student as Hans Boeckler Fellow, Department of Social Sciences, University of Frankfurt; as of 2004 at the Institute for Social Research
1997-2002Diplom (MA equivalent), Political Science, University of Frankfurt




T. ten Brink, F. Butollo (forthcoming): Domestic Market Growth and Local State Support in the Upgrading of China's LED Lighting Industry, in: Global Networks, 18, DOI: 10.1111/glob.12160.

L. Leisering, T. Liu, T. ten Brink (2017): Synthesizing Disparate Ideas: How a Chinese Model of Social Assistance Was Forged, in: Global Social Policy, 17:3,  DOI: 10.1177/1468018117704381.

T. ten Brink (2016): The End of the Long Boom? A Comparative Institutional Analysis of Long-Term Growth in China, in: Asia Review, 6:1, 195-223 (Korean).

L. Gruss, T. ten Brink (2016): The Development of the Chinese Photovoltaic Industry: An Advancing Role for the Central State?, in: Journal of Contemporary China, 25:99, 453-466.

A. Nölke, T. ten Brink, S. Claar, C. May (2015): Domestic Structures, Foreign Economic Policies and Global Economic Order: Implications from the Rise of Large Emerging Economies, in: European Journal of International Relations, 21:3, 538–567.

T. ten Brink (2015): Chinese Firms ‘Going Global’: Recent OFDI Trends, Policy Support, and International Implications, in: International Politics, 52:6, 666-683.

T. ten Brink (2014): The Challenges of China’s Non-liberal Capitalism for the Liberal Global Economic Order, in: Harvard Asia Quarterly, 16:2, 36-44.

T. ten Brink (2015): Economic Analysis in Critical Theory: The Impact of Friedrich Pollock’s State Capitalism Concept, in: Constellations, 23:3, 333-340.

T. ten Brink (2015 Paperback, 2014 Hardback): Global Political Economy and the Modern State System. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

T. ten Brink (2013): Chinas Kapitalismus. Entstehung, Verlauf, Paradoxien. Frankfurt/New York: Campus (revised edition forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press).

A comprehensive list of Tobias ten Brink’s academic publications is here [PDF].

Other Professional Activities: 

Network Organiser („Asian Capitalisms“) for the annual SASE-Conferences (Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics), since 2011

Member of the board of the "Political Economy" section in the German Political Science Association (DVPW), 2012-2015

Member of the Prize Committee „SASE-Fondation France-Japon/Network Q Prize”, 2012-2016

Advisory Board „dms – der moderne staat“, since 2012

Advisory committee of Seoul National University Asia Center book series “Capitalism in Asia”, since 2016