Infrastructures of China’s Modernity and Their Global Constitutive Effects

The research group „Infrastructures of China’s Modernity and Their Global Constitutive Effects”, funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia within the framework of the NRW Return Program, investigates the worldwide structural effects of China’s rapid modernization. China, which is often viewed as a country racing to catch up technologically and economically, is fact on par with industrialized societies and perhaps even surpassed them. As a result, a specific version of modernity has emerged, which seems to unfold both formative power and normative attraction. Based on this hypothesis, the research group examines the transnational effects of this socio-technical transformation and its links to entangled processes beyond Chinese borders. Methodically, four different types of infrastructure – logistics, data, manipulation, and memory, with their unique Chinese “characteristics” - will be explored and compared. Case studies are driven by the question whether and to what extent China’s modernity develops constitutive effects, i.e. which fundamental ontological and discursive aspects of political, economic, and social orders elsewhere are influenced and coshaped. This includes transformative processes that are reciprocal but significantly driven forward by China with respect to central dimensions of modernity including space, connectivity, subjectivity, and temporality. The project intends to expand research on China by adding a socio-technological perspective that goes beyond questions of economic influence and the expansion of political power. It focuses on China’s role in reshaping fundamental dimensions of political order. Secondly, it aims at improving our theoretical understanding of the role of new infrastructures in the Global South and their repercussions on the Global North. The research group will develop novel methodological approaches to make a contribution to the research on global infrastructures as a whole.

Infrastructures of Logistics

Infrastructures of Data

Infrastructures of Manipulation

Infrastructures of Memory

Understanding China's Modernity - European Reflections


Avatar Mayer

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Mayer


Avatar Böhmer

Anna Böhmer

Avatar Lu

Yen-Chi Lu

Avatar Nazaretyan

Mara Nazaretyan

Avatar Schmitz

Frederik Schmitz

Associate Fellows

Avatar Huang

Dr. Ying Huang

Visiting Fellows

Avatar Chen

Prof. Dr. Xiangming Chen

Avatar Zhang

Prof. Dr. Xin Zhang

Former Employees

Avatar Gloger

Mando Gloger

Avatar Huppenbauer

Nicolas Huppenbauer

Avatar Kranz

Antonia Kranz

Avatar Lyu

Cheng Lyu

Avatar Schmökel

Louisa Schmökel

Avatar Sun

Yan Sun

Avatar Tong

Mingyong (Jacob) Tong


The CASSIS operates, in addition to the project 'Infrastructures of Chinese Modernity
and their constitutive global effects', a library on the following topics:

  • Global infrastructures
  • Global technology and digital policy
  • Digital surveillance
  • Chinese memory and history politics
  • Chinese modernity 
  • etc.
© Jessica Ruscello/Unsplash

The library's holdings can be accessed via the search function of the bonnus search portal. The library is listed under the abbreviation "Politologie Soziologie/CASSIS".

The regular loan period is two weeks.

Römerstraße 164
D-53117 Bonn (Castell)
Room 4.023 (4th floor)

Every tuesday, 10 a.m. - 13 p.m.

Lending dates outside regular opening hours are set by personal arrangement via e-mail.

Johannes Doerfert

Phone: +49 228 73-60191


Wird geladen