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News from NIAS


Annemieke van den Dool, PhD candidate, Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam.

From crisis to change: China’s legislative responses to public health incidents.

Van den Dool specializes in Chinese law. In her dissertation, she examines why and how public health crises in China, such as SARS and the melamine milk powder crisis, lead to change in law. 



Yashar Mahmud, PhD candidate, Stockholm Business School.

Organizing Refugees.

Mahmud focuses on how a refugee organizes herself/himself and, at the same time, is being organized by others - organizations, people, technologies and laws. He tries to show the multiplicity and complexities involved in these processes. He uses Actor-Network Theory as an approach for empirical exploration and analysis.



New Student Assistants at NIAS



We are happy to welcome two new student assistants at NIAS.

Lars Hessellund Jeppesen (L) and Magnus Rosenquist (R),  both are students of China studies at the University of Copenhagen.
At NIAS they'll cover adminstrative tasks, NIAS SUPRA Programme and NIAS Linc.

New guest PhD at NIAS

Xiaoxu Liu is a PhD candidate at the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Helsinki. 
After getting her BA and MA in education from Northeast Normal University in China, she started her doctoral study at the University of Helsinki in 2015. She also studied in National Pingtung University in Taiwan for half a year as an exchange student.

Her research interests include comparative education, multicultural education and Chinese minority education.  Her latest article ‘The Meanings of Multicultural Education: Comparing Perspectives from China and Finland’ will be published in Dervin and Du’s book series with Palgrave MacMillan in 2017. She is working on another article 'Students and Teachers' Attitude towards Preferential Policies for Minorities in China: A case study of National Institute of Education’. Xiaoxu is also a member of research projects Helsinki University Chinese Studies and Criticality, Interculturality and Bias in Education.

More information please see University of Helsinki Research Portal
Contact: E-mail:




Pia Eskelinen, PhD Candidate, Master of Administrative Sciences, M.Sc. (Civil Law), the Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Law, University of Turku.

Urbanization and its effects on rural women’s land rights in the PRC
Pia's research covers rural women in the rural areas of China and the problems they face due to rapid and aggressive land policy.



Ruvimbo Natalie Mavhiki-Hodzi, PhD candidate, Asian Studies, University of Helsinki

Zero Conditionality: The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism and China's Foreign Aid
Ruvimbo is focusing on China’s increasing cooperation with African authoritarian regimes and its effect on democratisation. She has done extensive research on Democracy in divided societies, Democracy promotion, Aid, African politics and Gender and development. Prior to her engagement in Finland, Ruvimbo worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) coordinating election Monitoring and Observation in the run-up and during Zimbabwe’s 2013 Presidential election.

Call for papers: Asia in Focus Issue 6

Asia in Focus is a peer-reviewed journal published online twice a year by NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. Asia in Focus provides Master students and Ph.D. students affiliated to a European institution a widely accessible and transnational forum to publish their findings. The focal point of the journal is the modern Asian societies viewed from the standpoints of social science and humanities. The geographical focus is the Asian countries from Central Asia to Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. We aim at a high academic level in a concise, focused and readable form, and publish both academic essays and academic articles.

We are seeking full papers (approx. 3500 words) for the next issue of Asia in Focus. The papers which may take an academic article or academic essay format, should pertain to contemporary issues in modern Asia and be rooted in the social sciences or humanities.

We are also accepting book reviews of no more than 1000 words. Choose a title of your own choice that fits with the focus of the journal, or choose from the NIAS Press titles here:

The deadline for submissions is 1 February 2018 and accepted papers will be published spring/summer 2018.

See the attached documents for more information and visit for more detailed instructions about submission

Please contact us by  writing to


Tullia Jack PhD Candidate, Sociology, Lund University 
Cleanliness and consumption: changing everyday practices in Mysore
While visiting NIAS, Tullia is exploring empirical material from a recent field trip to Mysore, India. This data set consists of interviews, photos from inside supermarkets and notes from trips to laundromats and washing locales. Tullia is hoping to use this material to; understand how cleanliness norms are changing, and consider changing norms’ potential impacts on water and energy consumption.
Otso Harju, PhD candidate, Gender studies, The University of Helsinki
Political Daughterhood – Feminist middle-class daughters and intra-family
political conflicts in Delhi, India
My article Feminist conflicts and resistance in Indian family WhatsApp groups documents gendered conflicts in the microcosmos of family WhatsApp groups. In urban
middle-to-upper class India, families often have their own chat groups on the popular messaging application.
A tool for creating kinship, extended networks of relatives are often included. Crystallizing (and sometimes
intensifying) familial issues seen in the outside world, topics discussed in the chat groups can range from
gossip and dinner invitations to religion, money and “appropriate” behavior. Taken together, these
discussions uphold social norms and construct truths around what is desirable in terms of family, gender,
class and caste. Individual group members often do not have a real choice in participating, as leaving the
conversation would be shameful, too transgressive, or simply mean risking being out of touch with one’s
Among young Delhi feminists, family chat groups are a recurring topic of criticism, moral headaches,
and dark humour. The groups give rise to new and interesting forms of political conflict and everyday
feminist resistance. Analysing co-creating forms of identity (family vs. feminist), my article looks at how
radical young women perceive and engage with the chat groups they themselves are part of. Based on
in-depth interviews, it studies how feminists play along with, disapprove of, fight, or ignore the sexism,
classism and casteism expressed by family members.
The outlined article is a part his doctoral work titled “Political Daughterhood – Feminist middle-class daughters and intra-family political conflicts in Delhi, India”. Before joining the PhD programme, Otso has lived some three years in metropolitan India and done his master’s in Asian studies from Lund University, Sweden.



Natalia Moskaleva, PhD student, St. Petersburg State University

Tibetan History Telling on the Indo-Chinese Border: a Case Study of The Tibet Mirror (1949-1959)
The Tibet Mirror is popularly believed to be the first newspaper in the Tibetan language established and issued by the editor of Tibetan origin. The newspaper came out in Kalimpong, the city located on the main Indo-Tibetan trade route and renowned for its transcultural mixture of people and ideas. After the major Tibetan uprising in 1959 the Tibetans coming from China were either passing Kalimpong on their way into exile or settling there. Thus, the editor of The Tibet Mirror Dorje Tharchin had an advantage to get first hand news from Tibet and to compile contemporaneous chronicles of events in Tibet in his newspaper.
A number of aspects of modern Tibetan history present a venue for interpretation and discussions, especially the history of Tibet under the Chinese communist rule. Contending stories of pro-Tibetan and pro-Chinese authors clash and collide and it seems particularly interesting to see what Dorje Tharchin had to say and what kind of policy he followed in The Tibet Mirror. Despite the changes in the Indo-Chinese relations, Tharchin had his own stance and did collaborate neither with the Chinese communists nor with the Indian government.

YiTing Lee, MA student, University of Oslo

Women fleeing from Tibet: cause, exiled experience and future
YiTing Lee is from Taiwan. She did her bachelor in the department of public administration of political science. She is now studying gender studies at University of Oslo in Norway, doing a thesis related to Tibet and gender.

Interessant og krævende studenterjob på CSS campus

NIAS – Nordisk Institut for Asienstudier, et center under Institut for Statskundskab, søger en ny studerende til NIAS’ administration/service og bibliotek. Opgaverne inkluderer assistance ved events på NIAS og ved modtagelse af nordiske gæstestuderende. Opdatering af NIAS’ websites og nyhedsbreve. Derudover kommer hjælp til diverse forefaldende administrative og praktiske opgaver. 
Det ville være en fordel, hvis du har 
  • Gode engelskkundskaber og evnen til klar og fejlfri skriftlig kommunikation  
  • En udadvendt karakter og evnen til at arbejde selvstændigt og struktureret  
  • En studiebaggrund fra Asienstudier er en fordel, men ikke et krav 
Jobbet udføres i tæt samarbejde med centerleder og den øvrige stab, som inklusive gæster udgør cirka 30 personer.  
Vi tilbyder
  • Et interessant og Asien-fokuseret miljø, hvor tingene ind i mellem skal gå stærkt 
  • Et alsidigt job med afveksling i opgaverne 
  • Rare og engagerede kolleger 
  • Fleksibilitet i forhold til arbejdstiden i eksamensperioder 
Løn og ansættelse 
Ugentlig arbejdstid 15 timer.  
Ansøgningsfrist er den 27. oktober 2017. Tiltrædelse hurtigst muligt. 
Yderligere oplysninger 
om stillingen kan fås ved henvendelse til centeradministrator Katrine Herold, 3532 9504, mailto:


The Carlsberg Foundation Nomad Research Project

Cultural anthropologist Ida Nicolaisen, Senior Researcher at NIAS, has successfully completed a major research initiative: The Carlsberg Foundation Nomad Research Project with the publication of Mongol Herders (2017). The book is by Christel Braae and the fifteenth and last volume in a series of major publications, which is the outcome of the research effort. It is  the third among these about the Mongols, the other volumes being Martha Boyer: Mongol Jewelry (1995), and Henny Harald Hansen: Mongol Costumes (1993). Denmark has a century old scholarly tradition of studying pastoral nomads in the wide belt of deserts and steppes, which reach from Mauretania, across the Sahara and Middle East through Central Asia and into China.  Many of these research endeavors brought back huge collections of documents,  photos,  recordings of oral histories and music,  thousands of ethnographic specimen: tents, clothing, jewelry and utensils now in Danish museums as well as data on pastoral histories, subsistence patterns, trade, craftsmanship, cultures and social life. In view of the fact, that continued fieldwork among nomadic peoples in Afghanistan and Chad had in fact become impossible by the 1980s, that a huge amount of  valuable cultural and social anthropological research from various pastoral peoples nomads  was largely unpublished, and that the ethnographic collections had not been scientifically described, the research project was launched in 1986. In 1992 Ida Nicolaisen was appointed Editor-in- Chief of the publications,  initially planned as seven volumes, but over time the publications grew to more than the double to cope with the huge amount of scientific material. Ida Nicolaisen has authored three of the volumes herself: The Pastoral Tuareg I-II, (1997)(with J. Nicolaisen) and Elusive Hunters. The Haddad of Kanem and the Bahr-el-Ghazal (2007). Besides these, she has edited the other volumes in the series including Esther Fihl: Exploring Central Asia I-II (2002), which describes Ole Olufsen’s travels in Turkmenistan,  Kirghizstan and the Pamirs; four volumes on Afghan pastoral nomads:  Birthe Frederiksen: Caravans and Trade in Afghanistan( 1995); Gorm Pedersen: Afghan Nomads (1994); Asta Olesen: Afghan Craftsmen (1994); and  Klaus Ferdinand: Afghan Nomads(2006). Included is also Schuyler Jones: Tibetan Nomads (1996), which describes Prince Peter’s impressive ethnographic collection from Tibet; Inge Demant Mortensen: Nomads of Luristan (1993); and Klaus Ferdinand: Bedouins of Qatar 1993).

Read more about the Danish Nomad research project



Bryndís Ólafsdóttir, PhD student, University of Iceland

Network relations and internationalization of smaller Nordic firms exporting to the Japanese market
I am a second-year Ph.D. student at the School of Business, University of Iceland. My research interests are internationalization and entry-mode research, network relations and the role of trade intermediaries, specifically in relation to Icelandic, Danish and Swedish small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) exporting to the Japanese market. This is a qualitative research with in-depth interviews with managers and trade agents. The theoretical basis of the research is predominately from the Uppsala Internationalization process model.

Sofie Lyder Andersen, MA student, Sino-Danish Center in Beijing (programme managed by CBS)

Sino-Danish Cooperation: Cultural Barriers in Knowledge Sharing Processes
The purpose of my thesis project is to investigate the national cultural differences between Danish and Chinese partners in government-to-government cooperation projects that constitute barriers to the knowledge sharing process. The methodology applied is a qualitative approach inspired by the critical incident methodology techniques of studying intercultural encounters and communication through a combination of observation studies and semi-structured interviews. The main finding of this thesis is that the cultural difference in power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and time orientation makes knowledge sharing processes between Danish and Chinese partners difficult.