During the last years, the University of Vienna has substantially expanded its capacities in the field of contemporary East Asia, focusing primarily on China, Japan and Korea but occasionally including South East Asia in research and teaching, too. The establishment of a professorship in East Asian Economy and Society is part of these efforts and a visible expression of the University's commitment to contemporary East Asian Studies.
The basic philosophy of our program rests on four pillars:
(1) We believe that it is difficult to achieve a proper understanding of regional and country-specific issues without a solid foundation in established theories and methods of social science. Acquiring and utilizing such methodology is therefore a core characteristic of our program.
(2) However, even the best methodological skills are unlikely to produce optimal results if they are applied out of context. Historical and cultural tradition, customs, and values limit the number of actually available options and influence choices in East Asian societies as anywhere else. Knowledge and understanding of these specific factors is crucial and actively advocated in close cooperation with the other disciplines at the Department of East Asian Studies.
(3) East Asia is more than just the sum of the countries in that region. Rather than offering "light-versions" of Chinese, Japanese or Korean Studies, we focus on transnational and regional issues as well as on comparative approaches.
(4) When we say "East Asia", we usually refer to China, Japan and the two Koreas. However, reflecting the strong common traditions as well as the growing interrelation between the countries of Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, we have the strategic objective of expanding our regular activities in research and teaching to the countries of Southeast Asia. A first concrete step in this direction is our cooperation with SEAS.
Based on these prerequisites we offer a two-year structured Master's Program as well as a PhD. For further information, please contact us.
Professor of East Asian Economy and Society