Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

also Grant Holder and Scientific Representative


Naná de Graaff is Associate Professor in International Relations at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, VU Amsterdam. Her China related research interests are in the globalization of Chinese firms and business elites, Chinese political elite networks and interactions with Western corporate and political elites. She also studies American foreign policy elites and the (geo)politics of transforming oil industries. De Graaff is involved as co-Principal Investigator in international research projects in the UK (Durham University) and Canada (University of Victoria), she is elected Executive Council member of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), and International Advisory Board member of the OUP / Chatham House journal International Affairs. She publishes in leading journals such as Review of International Political Economy, International Affairs, European Journal of International Relations and Global Networks.

Prof Jeffrey HENDERSON

University of Bristol
School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

CHERN Vice Chair


Jeffrey Henderson is Professor Emeritus of International Development at the University of Bristol. Educated at universities in Britain and the United States, he has previously held appointments at the Universities of Manchester, Hong Kong and Birmingham and Visiting Professorships or Fellowships at the Universities of Lodz, Warwick, Glasgow, Leeds, Melbourne, New England, California at Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz and at Kwansei Gakuin University, Kobe and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research interests have been predominantly concerned with the dynamics and consequences of economic, social and political transformations in East Asia and Europe and, inter alia, he was one of the initiators of the global production networks approach to economic development. His books and cognate contributions include: Global Restructuring and Territorial Development ( with Manuel Castells); The Globalisation of High Technology Production ; States and Development in the Asian Pacific Rim (with Richard P. Appelbaum); Industrial Transformation in Eastern Europe in the Light of the East Asian Experience; East Asian Transformation; and Globalisation with Chinese Characteristics (special issue of Development and Change – with Richard P. Appelbaum and Suet Ying Ho).


Ms Jelena GLEDIĆ

University of Belgrade
Faculty of Philology

Science Communication Coordinator


Jelena Gledić is Senior Instructor at the University of Belgrade where she teaches a range of undergraduate courses in the field of Chinese language and culture at the Faculty of Philology. She also held a cross-appointment at Osaka University’s Graduate School of Language and Culture as Specially Appointed Associate Professor. Her recent research has mainly been focused on the Chinese presence in the Western Balkans (2020. Formal vs. Informal Chinese Presence: The Underbelly of Hope in the Western Balkans. In Shadow Economies across the New Silk Road, ed. Eva Hung & Tak-wing Ngo, pp. 163-182, Amsterdam University Press) and especially Serbia (2019. The Development of Sino-Serbian Relations under the Belt and Road Initiative: Forging the ‘Iron Friendship.’ Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations, 3(55), pp. 21-36). In addition to her research on China, she has been active in the field of teaching and learning innovation, doing extensive fieldwork at universities in the US, UK, China and Japan, and working as project assistant at the University of Zurich’s Language and Space Lab.

Dr Martina BOFULIN


Grant and STSM (Short-Term Scientific Missions) Coordinator


Martina Bofulin is a researcher at Slovenian Migration Institute (Research center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts) and holds a PhD in Ethnic Studies from University of Ljubljana. Previously she has been a postdoctoral fellow at University of Belgrade in Serbia and at Osaka University in Japan. Her fields of interest include migration and mobility processes between China and Europe as well as immigration and cohabitation of migrants in the countries of settlement. She has done extensive fieldwork among Chinese migrants in Southeast Europe, Japan and in communities of origin in China. She has led several projects on the topic of migrants’ integration and is currently working on a topic of diaspora and migrant heritage-making in the countries of settlement as well as origin. She is an author of the book Home away from home: Migration from China to Slovenia (in Slovenian).



ZHAW School of Management and Law
Center for Culture & Creativity in International Business (C3IB)

Training School and ITC Conference Grant Coordinator


Anna Lupina-Wegener is a Professor at the ZHAW School of Management and Law and she is head of the Center for Culture & Creativity in International Business (C3IB). Anna investigates socio-cultural integration processes in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As), change- and internationalization processes. In cross-cultural settings, she is interested in how managers, engineers and entrepreneurs develop collaborations with multiple stakeholders and how they overcome interpersonal, intergroup or interorganizational conflicts. Over 20 years, she has built a strong expertise on enabling effective cross-cultural collaborations. She provides guidance and advice to managers and executives based on the insights she gathered through multiple projects looking into collaborations of European managers and managers in economies in transition: Brazil, China, Mexico, Poland and Russia. Throughout her academic career, Anna has acquired external research funding, received grants and scholarships, as well as she has led various research projects and has been invited to participate in international, including externally funded projects (e.g. http://p3.snf.ch/project-163106). Anna’s research was published among the others at the Management International Review, British Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Organizational Change Management and Business Horizons. Anna has taught undergraduate, graduate, executive courses on international management, cross-cultural communication and organizational behaviour (e.g. China Market Mindset; Managing Multicultural Teams Effectively).


Center for Culture and Creativity in International Business | ZHAW International Management Institute IMI

Alexandra FILIUS MSc

Graduate School of Social Sciences – Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Grant Holder

e-mail: a.filius@vu.nl

Alexandra holds a bachelor degree China Studies from Leiden University and a master degree Culture, Organization and Management from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. During her studies she lived Beijing for one year. She wrote her master thesis about the experiences of Chinese PhD students in the Netherlands. Currently, she works as program manager for the Graduate School of Social Sciences at Vrije Universiteit. 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-filius-70537078/

Agnes-Szunomar, Leader WG 1


Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (IWE CERS)

WG1 Coordinator


Ágnes Szunomár, PhD is a Hungarian economist who extensively looks at China’s economic footprint in Europe. She is the head of Research Group on Development Economics at the Institute of World Economics, CERS, Hungary and assistant professor at Corvinus University of Budapest. She has more than 100 scientific publications, has led and participated in several international research projects. She is also a member of China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe (CHOICE) network. Her most recent works are: Emerging-market Multinational Enterprises in East Central Europe, Empty shell no more: China’s growing footprint in Central and Eastern Europe and Employee relations at Asian subsidiaries in Hungary: Do home or host country factors dominate?


German Council on Foreign Relations

WG2 Coordinator


Dr Tim Rühlig is a Research Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin and an Associate Fellow with The Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm analyzing Europe-China relations, Chinese foreign and industrial policy including high technology and Hong Kong affairs. His current research projects focus on China’s growing footprint in technical standardization, Chinese and European politics of smart ports, the emerging US-China technology rivalry and its implications for Europe as well as the politics of Hong Kong. In his thesis, he demonstrated how diverging sources of domestic legitimation coupled with a fragmented structure of the Chinese party-state and its underlying political economy result in contradictory Chinese foreign policy. Beyond his academic work, Rühlig has gained policy advice in the field of China’s high technology policy with several European actors, including the European Commission.

Nicholas JEPSON

University of Manchester

WG3 Coordinator


Nick Jepson is Hallsworth Research Fellow in Chinese political economy at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute. He is the author of the recently published book In China’s Wake: How the commodity boom transformed development strategies in the global south (Columbia University Press). His current research examines how China’s emergence as a major bilateral creditor is transforming systems of global financial governance.

Photo by courtesy of Carsten Fleck


Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

WG4 Coordinator


Ágota Révész is a sinologist with multiple years of experience in academia and diplomacy. Fluent in English, German, Chinese and Hungarian, she now conducts research on EU-China narratives, while also working on research security between Germany and China, as well as raising China competence among non-sinologists. Her teaching focuses on EU-China relations and intercultural competence with a focus on China.


Prof Pál NYÍRI

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

WG 5 Coordinator


Nyíri Pál is Professor of Global History from an Anthropological Perspective at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. His research focuses on the international mobility of the emerging Chinese middle class. His most recent books are Reporting for China: How Chinese Correspondents Work with the World and Chinese Encounters in Southeast Asia: How People, Money, and Ideas from China are Changing a Region (edited with Danielle Tan). Nyíri is series editor of New Mobilities in Asia (Amsterdam University Press).

Prof Antonella Ceccagno

University of Bologna 

WG 5 Coordinator


Professor Antonella Ceccagno teaches Sociology of Migration and China in Africa at the University of Bologna, Italy. Based on long-term ethnographic research, her work builds upon the fields of critical migration studies, labor studies, and urban studies. Her main research areas are the role of migrants in processes of urban, regional, and industry restructuring, and the ethnicization of a migrant workforce. Her most recent book is City Making and Global Labor Regimes. Chinese Immigrants in Italy’s Fast Fashion Industry, 2017, Cham: Pagrave McMillan. 



COST Office

Administrative officer


Dr Rossella Magli

COST Office

Science officer


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