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 and grassroots governance
  • Urbanization, migration, rural development, and land politics 
  • Political economy of culture, propaganda, and censorship

I am steering group member of the Asian Dynamics Initiative at the University of Copenhagen, and editor-in-chief of The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies.

Current research

In the project "Steering urban-rural integration: Administrative reconficguration for a unified citizenship" (2018-2024) (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. The 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"(2020-2025) (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 use 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), as well as China-related courses on the MA "Asian Studies". 

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

PhD projects

Eva Seiwert: "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China’s strategy of shaping international norms" (Freie Universität Berlin, Political Science, January 2021) (current position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)

Maja Korbecka: "China's art cinema at film festivals" (Freie Universität Berlin, China Studies, ongoing)

Antonie Angerer: "Mediating urban futures: media production within the early urbanization process of Xiongan New Area" (Freie Universität Berlin, China Studies, ongoing)

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. Rural urbanization under Xi Jinping: From rapid community building to steady urbanization?

    Meyer-Clement, Elena, 2020, In: China Information. 34, 2, p. 187-207 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. 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. 236 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch

ID: 283750973