Summer Semester 2018

For detailed information about the different modules of the study program please consult the Catalogue of Modules. Please choose your courses so you will get the minimum of 10 ECTS/Module.
The schedule changes cannot be excluded until the beginning of the Semester.

Course Offering for Module 2 (10 ECTS)

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Aida Bosch, Prof. Dr. Markus Promberger

Time and Place: Monday, 10:15 – 11:45 pm, room 05.013 at Institut für Soziologie, Kochstraße 4, 91054 Erlangen

starting 16.4.2018


Synopsis: Decision making is one of the core issues in the economy, politics, and social affairs throughout the world. Moreover, it is of crucial scientific interest, as here it is where social structure meets human action, degrees of freedom meet constraints, social power meets different cultures, rationalities and interests, and decision-makers and other actors cooperate in specific ways within organisations and networks. Good decision making is one micro foundation of survival and sustainability of organisations and other collective actors, both for themselves and in relation to their (embeddedness in) social, cultural and natural environments. Thus, making a decision is not just an act of free will, power, and resources, but is bounded within and growing out from cultural, social and economic frameworks along paths, structures, and corridors of possibilities and constraints.

The seminar will introduce into a set of classic and present-day theories and case studies of decision making in organisations and societies. We are going to combine the classical questions of individual actors, power and interests, and the (ir)rationality of organisational processes with the most recent topics of intercultural and transcultural contexts and organisation-environment relations.

Recommended literatureFriedberg, E., & Crozier, M. (1980). Actors and systems: The politics of collective action. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ekman, P. (2003). Emotions Revealed. London: Weidenfeld&Nicolson
Gigerenzer, G. (2008): Gut Feelings. Penguin
March, J.(1989). Decisions and organizations. Oxford/New York: John Wiley & Sons
March, J. (1994): A primer on decision making. How decisions happen. New York: Free Press
Rosa, H. (2003). Social acceleration: ethical and political consequences of a desynchronized high–speed society. Constellations, 10(1), 3-33.
Sennett, R. (2012). Together: The rituals, pleasures, and politics of cooperation. Yale University Press.
Weber, M. (2004). The Essential Weber. Edited by Sam Whimster. New York, NY.

Additional information: Registration is required for this lecture.
Registration starts on Monday, 26.3.2018, 8:00 and lasts till Sunday, 22.4.2018, 24:00 on mein Campus.

Additional Information: Please register on mein Campus.

Lecturer: Dr. Dimitri Drettas

Time and Place: Thursday, 12:00-14:00 pm


Synopsis: This course aims to present and examine the variety of ways used, in the context of traditional Chinese culture, to obtain an awareness of possible situations or events that have not yet occurred, in order to facilitate the process of decision-making in the personal, political and economic spheres.

Those methods all have in common the importance given to historical precedents and their overreliance on divination. In this perspective, decisions concerning everyday life (wedding, travels, healthcare) or the administrative and diplomatic fields (policy changes, wars) are viewed as singular events whose optimal conditions can be predicted. The use of mantic practices such as sorting the Yijing (Book of Changes) hexagrams, dream interpretation, horoscopy, or numerology, is recorded in all major works of Chinese historiography (The Zuo Tradition, Sima Qian’s Records and later official histories) as an efficient way to assess the best choice of action, since the consequences of the decisions made are also recorded. These narratives will be studied (in English translation with the original ancient Chinese text) as pattern-setting models of causality in the worldview of traditional Chinese culture.

Since contemporary Chinese society is still partly informed by these practices, which politics, finance, and popular culture keep referring to, more or less openly, the impact of the survival of traditional culture in modern decision-making will be particularly emphasized.

Students attending this class will gain an understanding of the cultural background of decision-making in China which will allow them to identify, contextualize and evaluate the rhetoric surrounding official decisions in the Chinese media and political discourse. Moreover, students will be able to recognize the implicit application of traditional methods used to gain knowledge of the invisible, be it actualized or not.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Philipp Balsiger

Time and Place: Monday, 16:00-18:00 pm, room 01.116 at Institut für Sinologie, Artillertiestraße, 91052 Erlangen (starts in the second week of the Semester)


Synopsis: Some scholars state that Globalization will finally end up with a worldwide standardized way of living. But it can be observed that cultural differences are becoming more and more controversial. Hence, the question arises whether the preconditions for the sought-for dialogue between civilizations and cultures still is assured. Following to Francois Jullien, the suspicious fact becomes rather strong, that insisting on European humanism is no longer a persuading argument, even if it believes to be politically correct. For him, it would make more sense to rethink terms like “the universal”, “the uniform”, or “the common”. The seminar will consider this hypothesis.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Pregadio

Time and Place: Thursday, 14:00-16:00 pm, attic floor at Institut für Sinologie, Artillertiestraße, 91052 Erlangen

Synopsis: This course aims to explore some of the main views of the human being that have been formulated in premodern China. In some cases, these views focus on the individual, and in others on society; some intend to integrate these two poles of human experience, while others maintain that they are inevitably in conflict. Emphasis will be given to concepts devised within different traditions of thought and religion in different historical periods. The course will develop through weekly presentations by students based on a series of studies on this subject, followed by class debate under the supervision of the teacher.

Lecturer: Dr. Martina Gottwald-Belinic

Time and Place: 01.116 at Institut für Sinologie, Artillertiestraße, 91052 Erlangen


Synopsis: This course will give a systematic and insightful view of China’s transformation road on becoming an important player for the global economy. This includes the challenges in labour transformation and readiness of Chinese economy, firms and society in general for economic absorption of new technology trends and catches up with the changes the world economy is facing up to date. The aim of the course is to provide the students the framework understanding of China’s economy, structural and institutional changes in China and readiness for the new challenges ahead in sustaining past accomplishments and moving towards the modern Chinese economy. Special focus will be given onto determinants of labour productivity in China, including migration and demographic development, as well as the cultural integration into the world economy over organisational and leadership development and value differences between China and Western business practice.

Starting with an introduction on the pre-1949 economy, the focus of historical development will be the period of last two decades, a period characterized by structural reforms, urbanisation, industrialization and trade liberalisation that have taken place during this transition. These include, among others: ownership reforms and privatizations, changes made within financial markets, international trade and foreign investment developments after WTO accession, human capital accumulation, and managerial capability developments, housing market developments as well as resource price reforms. The new technology trends influenced around computerisation – digitalization, commonly known as the fourth industrial revolution will bring new products and services and will request huge structural and market changes for the Chinese economy as well. These will require further input factor market reforms and influence the future of employment but might be the answer to Chinese stagnating growth in labor productivity, aging population and increasing labor costs in China. Efficiency and better resource utilization will be enabled over input factor optimization as well as incentives to increase labour productivity and sustainable environmental-friendly production, stimulated over continuous innovations and new technology applications. China`s government already started with the agenda for catching up with strategy China Manufacturing 2025, the initiative modeled on German`s Industry 4.0 scope. The course will conclude by assessment of readiness and potentials for Chinese firms and economy in general.

The course will provide different case studies, research papers or panel discussions like for example 1. Readiness for the Chinese firm’s capabilities to capitalize on the “fourth industrial revolution” on its output and productivity growth; 2. Digitalization as the answer to declining labour productivity, aging population and increasing labour costs over input factor substitution;  3. Placing China’s economy in interesting comparative contexts, discussing it in relation to other transitional or developing economies and to such advanced industrial countries; 4. Cultural effects on leadership values in China, management challenges in a multicultural context, differences in leadership and human resource management and worker efficiency within different ownership structure among Chinese firms; 5. Innovation Capability Management among Chinese Firms; 6. Labour migration and urbanisation trends influencing Chinese society values and lifestyle. Students can also propose topics for a case study or research paper based on the field of interest. 

Lecturer: Dr. Sven Grundmann

Time and Place: Monday, 8:00-10:00, 01.116 at Institut für Sinologie, Artillertiestraße, 91052 Erlangen


Synopsis: In the early 1970s, design theorist Horst Rittel and urban planner Melvin M. Webber published their treaty “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning” in which they discuss why the planning of policies and social, cultural or environmental problem solving cannot succeed. Problems faced by policy-makers are entirely different from problems natural scientists or engineers have to deal with. Many policy problems are wicked problems, which are principally undecidable and for which no scientifically “right” or “wrong” solution exists. Decision-making processes in public policy often follow the course of normative judgments where distinctions between “good” and “bad” dominate the debate. In this course, we discuss approaches of reasoning which could supplement evidence-based decision-making concepts. This form of argumentation enables decision-makers to consider cultural and normative values in their assessment of policy alternatives. Policy advising is more an art and craft rather than a scientifically rigorous technique. Therefore, we will practice ethical reasoning by discussing some specific cases of wicked policy problems.

Introduction and Organization of the Course

Part 1: Theories of Difficult Decision-Making

·         Rittel and Webber: Wicked Problems

·         Foerster : Modes of Decision-Making: Science and Systemics

Part 2: Two Approaches to Normative Reasoning: Utilitarianism and Deontology

·         Weber: Ethics of Conviction and Ethics of Responsibility

·         Bentham: Utilitarianism

·         Kant: Deontology

Part 3: Ethical Reasoning in Public Policy Management

·         Toulmin: How to Make an Argument Robust

·         Bromell: Policy Advising and Ethics

·         Case Teaching: Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

 Part 4: Collaborative Decision-Making and Its Pitfalls

·         Habermas: Theory of Communicative Action

·         Mouffe: The Democratic Paradox

·         Brown: Collective Inquiry and Its Wicked Problems

·         Brewer: Collaboration as a Solution to Environmental Problems

Course Offering for Module 4 (10 ECTS)

Lecturer: Deputy Prof. Dr. Alexander Smith

Time and Place: Wednesday, 10:00-12:00 am, Institut für Sinologie, Artillertiestraße, 91052 Erlangen


Synopsis: This course will provide an introduction to the Anthropology of Magic from the late 19th century to the present day. We will focus, in particular, on the concept of rationality as it has been constituted and politicized in Western representations of the non-European “Other”. In exploring this theme, we will ask two main questions: (1) How did European discourses on rationality and magic adapt to incorporate the experiences of colonization and exposure to ‘primitive’ societies? and (2) how and why have magical practices persisted in spite of (and sometimes in combination with) empirical observations and scientific beliefs. Drawing from numerous ethnographic sources, we will problematize the idea that magic and rationality are incompatible and highlight the intellectual-historical development of the ‘rationality debate’ in broader anthropological literature.

Lecturer: JProf. Dr. Stéphanie Homola
Time and Place: Thursday, 10:00-12:00 am, room 01.116 at Institut für Sinologie, Artillertiestraße, 91052 Erlangen


Synopsis: This seminar will introduce Chinese media and Chinese Internet culture, such as blogging, social networks, censorship issues, and Internet language. It will also provide useful tools to search for and monitor both academic and general information on Chinese society and culture. We will deepen our knowledge of contemporary Chinese society through media documentation and cultural products such as printed and digital press, documentary films, movies, literature, and music.

Hier der Text

Course Offering for Module 6 (10 ECTS)
The Summer School is obligatory for Module 6 and will take place during the two weeks from 16. July – 27. July 2018.
Additionally to those weeks, the students have to choose one of the Module 6 courses offered during the Semester.

Following Soon

Lecturer: Dr. Mo Tian

Time and Place: Wednesday, 08:00-10:00 am, Sinology

Synopsis: This course introduces the history of China from 1800 to the present day, which is a period that marked some of the greatest triumphs and tragedies of China’s history. At its height, the Chinese Qing Empire was among the most powerful polities in existence. Yet by the end of the 19th century, much of China was a virtual colony of foreign powers, and by the 1930s, the country appeared on the verge of annihilation. After 1949, the People’s Republic of China embarked upon a vast socialist experiment, yet has now emerged as one of the great powers in the world. This course will address the following questions: what sort of themes and concerns drove these vast changes, and how does China’s historical experience help us to understand the challenges facing the country today?

Textbooks are not required for this class, but the following books are highly recommended for reference:
• Jack Gray, Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to 2000, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
• Immanuel C. Hsu, The Rise of Modern China, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
• Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013.
The required readings will be a combination of scholarly articles and primary sources. Students are strongly recommended to be familiar with the readings before class and to read them closely after class.


Week 1: Qing China I: Cracks in the Porcelain
– Introduction and background of early Chinese history
– Qing dynasty administration
– Signs of decline in early nineteenth century
– Ethnic tensions and border insecurity
– Ch’ü, T’ung-Tsu, Local Government in China Under Ch’ing. Cambridge, Mass: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1988: pp. 15-35.
– Philip Kuhn, Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768. Harvard University Press, 1990: 119-138.

Week 2: Qing China II: Opium Wars and Gunboat diplomacy
– Early contact with the West
– Trade and diplomacy
– The political and military significance of Opium Wars
– “The Language of Diplomacy”
– Harry G. Gelber. Opium, Soldiers, and Evangelicals: Britain’s 1840-42 War with China, and Its Aftermath. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Week 3: Qing China III: Domestic policy and Millenarian rebellion
– Domestic developments in mid-Qing
– Millenarian rebellion
– Mid-Qing rebellions and aftermath
– David Ownby, “Chinese Millenarian Traditions: The Formative Age (in AHR Forum: Millenniums),” The American Historical Review, vol. 104, no. 5. (December 1999), pp. 1513-1530.

Week 4: Qing China IV: Self-Strengthening
– Self Strengthening movements
-“Chinese Impressions of the West” compiled from Renditions, vol. 51-52.
– Kwan Ho, Kim. Japanese Perspectives on China’s Early Modernization: the Self-Strengthening Movement, 1860-1895: A Bibliographical Survey. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1974.

Week 5: Demise of Qing and Republic of China: Xinhai to May 4th
– S.C.M. Paine, The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895: Perceptions, Power, and Primacy. Cambridge University Press, 2003: pp. 21-61.
– Lu Xun, The True Story of Ah Q

Week 6, Republic of China II: Nanjing Decade and founding of CCP
– Founding of Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
– Consolidation of Guomindang power
– Life in the “Nanjing decade”
– Fan Hong, “Blueshirts, Nationalists, and nationalism: Fascism in 1930s China” in Top of Form Mangan, J. A. Superman Supreme: Fascist Body As Political Icon: Global Fascism. Sport in the global society. London: Frank Cass, 2000: 205-226.

Week 7: Republic of China III: Japanese invasion and Civil War
– Failure of First United Front and founding of Jiangxi Soviet
– Japanese occupation of Manchuria and aims in China
– Civil War: Guomindang blunder or Communist victory?
– J. Clayton Miller, “The Drama in China’s anti-Japanese Propaganda” Pacific Affairs 11, 4 (1938): 465-477.
– M. Royama, “The South Manchuria Railway Zone, and the Nature of its Administration” Pacific Affairs 3, 11 (1930): 1018-1034.

Week 8: People’s Republic of China I: Founding and early policies
– The early 1950s and Korean War
– Policies and mass movements
– The Great Leap Forward
– Dikötter, Frank. Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62. London: Bloomsbury, 2010: 174-188.

Week 9: People’s Republic of China II: Ascendance of Maoism
– Red versus Expert debates
– Cultural Revolution
– S. A. Smith, “Talking Toads and Chinless Ghosts: The Politics of “Superstitious” Rumors in the People’s Republic of China, 1961–1965” American Historical Review 2006 111:2, 405-427.
– A. Z. M. Obaidullah Khan “Class Struggle in Yellow Sandhill Commune” The China Quarterly, No. 51 (Jul. – Sep. 1972), pp. 535-546.

Week 10: People’s Republic of China III: Changes since 1980
– Death of Mao Zedong and rise of Deng Xiaoping
– The democracy movement and economic change
– Current policies and possible scenarios for political change
– Scott Rozelle, Albert Park, Jikun Huang, and Hehui Jin, “Bureaucrat to Entrepreneur: The Changing Role of the State in China’s Grain Economy” Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. 48, No. 2 (January 2000), pp. 227-252.

Lecturer: Dr. Dimitri Drettas

Time and Place: Friday, 10:00-12:00 am, Sinology

This course will introduce students to the basic knowledge of the history of ancient China, from the Shang dynasty (ca. 1600-1046 BCE) to the early Qing dynasty (1644-1911), with an emphasis on sociocultural changes and the importance of written and material sources. An overview of the issues surrounding the periodization of Chinese history will also be provided, and a critical approach of “official history” on both the Western and Chinese sides encouraged, starting with the unrealistic image of the “immobile Empire of the Middle”.

Students attending this class will gain an understanding of the chronology, main events, and impact of pre-modern Chinese history, something that is necessary to comprehend a large part of contemporary Chinese culture and society. Moreover, students will learn how to use efficiently the classical reference works (written mainly in English, but also in Chinese) which are the primary tools of any historian of China, in other words where to look for the most accurate information.

The use of the latest edition of Endymion Wilkinson’s New Manual of Chinese History is strongly recommended.

Additional Course Offering

Lecturer: Dr. Mo Tian
Time and Place: Friday, 08:00-10:00 am

Course description

This is a low-level Chinese language course, following on from Chinese Language and Culture 2017-2018 Winter Semester. This course is designed to cover the main grammatical points of Modern Chinese language as well as enlarging students’ vocabulary which will raise students’ linguistic competence in reading, writing, listening and speaking modern Chinese. It aims at laying a solid foundation for more advanced Chinese language study in the second year in Beijing and beyond. In addition to the coverage of the textbook, the course will also utilize other textual or audio/visual materials so that students can also learn about aspects of Chinese culture, history, and society.


Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students should:

  1. Acquire more basic grammatical structures of Modern Chinese.
  2. Further, enlarge their vocabulary to about 500 (include those learned in the first semester)
  3. Be more confident in using the language to conduct conversations on everyday topics.
  4. Be more competent in reading and listening to more sophisticated texts on topics related to the textbook.
  5. Be more aware of the features of written Chinese which are different from their oral counterpart.
  6. Learn more about aspects of Chinese culture and society.



  1. Attendance 20%

Students are highly encouraged to participate in class discussions and are required to prepare summaries of readings for class discussions before class.


  1. Research Paper 20%

The research paper is due at the end of the term. The research paper should follow the conventional format in academic writing. In the paper, students should explain clearly the research problem and resolve the problem by giving supporting evidence. The length of the paper is 3,000 words excluding footnotes.


Well-reasoned arguments supported by reference to primary and secondary literature;

Research question clearly presented, defined and resolved;

The logical presentation of ideas;

Accurate spelling and grammar;

A full presentation of bibliographical information;

Intriguing introduction and well-supported conclusion

  1. Final exam 60%

The final exam will cover the grammatical points covered in the course and test students’ basic speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.