Univ.Prof. Dr. Christian Göbel, M.A.

Since February 2013, I hold the newly created Chair of Sinology with a Social Science Orientation at the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of Vienna. In my current research I am concerned with the political economy of innovation in authoritarian regimes. Specifically, I am interested in the relationship between technological innovation, political innovation and regime stability in East Asia. My other areas of interest are the relationship between central government and local governments as well as public finance in China and the comparative analysis of corruption. I am currently conducting two research projects. One examines the determinants of successful political innovation, the other examines the impact of information technologies on regime stability in China. My research takes me to China at least once a year, where I talk to local politicians, collect research material, and work on joint projects with Chinese partners.

Before my call to Vienna I did research and teaching at the universities of Heidelberg, Lund and Duisburg-Essen.


My previous publications are mainly concerned with relations between central government and local governments in China. A monograph published in 2010 examines the emergence and implementation of tax reform that ended with the abolition of agricultural tax, making many local governments largely dependent on the central government's financial allocations. A second monograph, written in collaboration with Thomas Heberer, deals with the central government's attempt to establish urban neighborhoods. By assuming state responsibilities, neighborhood committees should help ease the burden on the government.

After completing these two projects, I have chosen a more comparative perspective for my research. Inspired by earlier studies on the consolidation of democracy in Taiwan, I have developed a conceptual framework for examining the consolidation of non-democratic regimes. This project has already resulted in several publications and working papers. I also co-founded the interdisciplinary China Innovation Group with several colleagues from Lund University, dedicated to cross-disciplinary research into technological innovation in China. The intense exchange within this group sparked my interest in the connection between innovation and authoritarian consolidation, which I pursue, among other things, in the context of two new research projects financially supported by the Swedish Science Council.


Tel: +43-1-4277-43851

eMail: christian.goebel(at)univie.ac.at

Office hours: By appointment via e-mail