Elena Meyer-Clement

Elena Meyer-Clement

Associate Professor

Primary fields of research

My research focuses on China's authoritarian governance, particularly on intergovernmental relations in the Chinese party-state, and state-society relations.

Main research topics include:

  • Local governance
  • Urbanization
  • Rural development
  • Land politics 
  • Political economy of culture
  • Propaganda and censorship

Current research

In the project "Steering urban-rural integration: Administrative reconficguration for a unified citizenship" (2018-2023) (co-led with René Trappel, Freiburg, funded by the German Research Foundation), I investigate the transformation of rural China through urbanization and housing (and resettlement) politics in semi-urban areas. Main focus lies on the consequences of these politics for state-society relations and grassroots politics. Fieldwork for this project was conducted mainly in Gansu and Zhejiang Provinces.  

In the project "Social Worlds: China's cities as spaces of worldmaking"(since November 2020) (co-led with Björn Alpermann, Würzburg), I look more closely at the evolving social relations in China's new urban spaces, and I take a comparative perspective on China's urbanization and its interconnectedness with global capitalist developments.


My courses make use of social science theories and methods to discuss various aspects of China's political system, governance, political economy, and social change. I regularly teach the BA course "Politics/The political economy of contemporary China" (KU and CBS), and the MA courses "Approaches to Asia" or "Global Asia". 

I supervise BA and MA projects on most aspects of Chinese politics and society. Please contact me direclty to discuss your project ideas.   

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Party Hegemony and Entrepreneurial Power in China: Institutional change in the film and music industries

    Meyer-Clement, Elena, Sep 2015, Routledge.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    China’s rural urbanization and the state: Putting the countryside first?

    Meyer-Clement, Elena & Zeuthen, J. W., 3 Jun 2020, In: China Information. 34, 2

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch

  3. Published

    Familie – Leben – Pandemie. Worte und Welten chinesischer Wanderarbeiterinnen: Ein Projekt von Jing Y.

    Meyer-Clement, Elena (ed.), Angerer, A. (ed.), Flock, R. (ed.) & Malzer, M. (ed.), 2023, Berlin: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch

ID: 283750973