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Head of Programme Domestic Politics
Matthias Stepan is the head of the research programme on Chinese domestic politics. He is an expert on policy-making processes and China’s state-party nexus. His research focuses on the changing role of government, multi-level governance, better regulation, and the transformation of China’s social security system.
Prior to joining MERICS, he worked as a researcher and junior lecturer at the VU University Amsterdam. In 2008-2010, he was affiliated with the Beijing based EU-China Social Security Reform Cooperation Project, where he supported the preparation of policy advice to Chinese central government ministries. Stepan is actively engaged in the academic exchange among leading European and Chinese experts in the field of public policy, especially social policy.
Top-level design and local-level paralysis: Local politics in times of political centralisation, in: MERICS Papers on China, 1: China´s Core Executive, June 2016. (with Anna L. Ahlers)
Two years of refurbishing the command and control apparatus: the Chinese Communist Party strengthens its hold on the judicial system and societal forces, MERICS China Monitor No. 28, 12 November 2015.
Education in China going global, MERICS Web Special, September 2015. (with Simon Lang, Ka Ho Mok and Elena Klorer)
Off target: China’s vocational education and training system threatens the country’s rise to industrial superpower status, MERICS China Monitor No. 24, 2 October 2015. (with Elena Klorer)
Chinas Korruptionsparadox: Warum China ohne „Gute Regierungsführung“ so rasch wachsen konnte, MERICS China Comment, 26 January 2015. (with Sebastian Heilmann)
“The bull and the dragon” — How Europe and China perceive One Another, in: The Hamburg Summit: China Meets Europe 2014 Conference Booklet, October 2014.
Who gets what? Social Security in China, MERICS China Mapping, May 2014.
Soziale Sicherheit mit chinesischen Besonderheiten, MERICS China Monitor No. 6, April 2014.
China’s dangerous real estate spiral, December 7, 2016 (with Sebastian Heilmann)
Open government in China: bound to improve, within bounds, November 22, 2016. (with Jessica Batke and Julia Breuer)
Off-budget financing in disguise: why PPPs can’t solve China’s fiscal problems, November 8, 2016. (with Anna Wang)
China’s social security system: increasing equality, looming risks, October 25, 2016.
Revamping the Communist Youth League – more than a power struggle, August 18, 2016. (with Lea Shih)
Growth alone can’t conquer poverty in China, June 2, 2016. (with Sebastian Heilmann)
How China's rich shape national policy-making, March 7, 2016. (with Lea Shih)
Open Government in China: Bound to Improve, Within Bounds. in: China Policy Institute Analysis, 11 November 2016. (with Jessica Batke and Julia Breuer)
What Does Xi Jinping’s Top-Down Leadership Mean for Innovation in China?, in: ChinaFile, A ChinaFile Conversation, 25 October 2016.
How sustainable is China’s social security system? In: China Policy Institute Analysis, 14 October 2016.
The Establishment of China’s New Type Rural Social Insurance Pension: A Process Perspective. In: Journal Of Current Chinese Affairs, 45(2), pp. 113-147. (with Lu Quan)
Building the New Socialist Countryside: Tracking Public Policy and Public Opinion Changes in China. In: The China Quarterly, Volume 226, pp. 456-476. (with Enze Han und Tim Reeskens)
China as a Mirror and Testing Ground for Governance Beyond the West. In: Brij Mohan (ed.) Global Frontiers of Social Development in Theory and Practice, 2015. London: Palgrave Macmillan.(with Sander Chan)
Book review: Hubert Heinelt (Ed.). Modernes Regieren in China. In: ASIEN German Journal on Contemporary Asia, 134 (January 2015), pp. 210 – 211.
Pension reform in the European periphery. Public Administration and Development, 34 (4): pp. 320 – 331. (with Anderson, K. M.)
Equity release plans aid aging society. China Daily (14 October 2013), pp. 9. (with Clarke, G.)
An encounter between welfare state reform and the European sovereign debt crisis. Chinese Journal of European Studies, 31(1), pp. 101-126, 2013. (in Chinese) (with Hemerijck, A.C.)
Recent reforms of the German civil servants' pension scheme. Journal of Social Security Studies, 16(2): pp. 108-117, 2012. (in Chinese)
Welfare Governance in China? A conceptual discussion of governing public social policy programs and the applicability of the concept to contemporary China. Journal of Cambridge Studies, 7(4): pp. 54-72, 2012. (with Müller, A.)
Book review: Ma, S.-Y. Shareholding system reform in China. Privatizing by groping for stones.ASIEN German Journal on contemporary Asia, 124 (July 2012): pp. 224 – 225.
Ageing as part of the society. Old-age care and long term care trends in the Netherlands. In: International Symposium on Long Term Care and Old-Age Security. Beijing: Renmin University of China: pp. 93-103, 2011. (with Plaisier, I.)
EU-China relations: strategic or pragmatic, the future or already the past? Atlantisch perspectief, 35(2): pp. 19 – 24, 2011. (with Ostermann, F.)
Intervention Catalogue for the use of Active labour market policies. EU- China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project: Work Report, 2010. (with He, B.)
Employment Policy Evaluation Framework Initiative. EU- China Social Security Reform Co-operation Project: Work Report, 2009. (with Barker, S.)
Europe and China: long distance, close partners? JASON - Magazine over internationale zaken, 33 (2), 2008.
The development of the Chinese Welfare State and the prospect of EU Policy Diffusion. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam: Master Thesis, 2008.
Science and Technology Policy in Germany and Great Britain. Convergence or Divergence? University of Konstanz: Bachelor Thesis, 2006.
Der Club der einflussreichen Millionäre, in: Zeit Online, 4 March 2016. (with Leah Shih)
These Are the Super-Rich People Shaping China, in: Fortune, 4 March 2016. (with Leah Shih)
Why China is internationalizing its education system, Interview with Daily News Egypt, 17 September 2015. (with Simon Lang)
Why China is internationalizing its education system, Interview with Deutsche Welle, 17 September 2015. (with Simon Lang)
Hongkong nach der "Regenschirm-Revolution", Interview with detektor.fm, 5 August 2015.
Kontrolle über alles, in Zeit Online, 15. Juli 2015, (with Kristin Shi-Kupfer)
"Xi Jinping ist wirklich omnipräsent", Interview with Deutschlandfunk, 7 March 2015.
"China und der neue Führerkult", Interview with Radio Bremen, 5 March 2015.
"Die Zensur hat entscheidend zugenommen", Interview, Saarbrücker Zeitung, 5 March 2015.
Nächster Krisenherd China?, WDR5 Funkhausgespräch, 13 November 2014.
DW Business Brief, Interview on the demonstrations in Hong Kong, 30 September 2014.
Europa und China: Weg von Missverständnissen – hin zu einer besseren Partnerschaft, ChinaContact, October 2014. (with Moritz Rudolf)
Können Proteste Wirkung zeigen?, Interview with Deutsche Welle, 29 September 2014.
Eine unabhängige Untersuchung ist nicht erwünscht, Interview with Deutsche Welle, 29 July 2014.
Chinesische Kommunalpolitik ist unterschätzt, WDR5 Politikum, 7 July 2014.