The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is a Stiftung Mercator initiative. Established in 2013, MERICS is a Berlin-based institute for contemporary and practical research into China that Stiftung Mercator set up as a platform for engagement with China in Germany. MERICS provides timely information and analysis on China to political and economic decision-makers as well as the media and the general public.
Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolizes the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience. One of Germany’s leading foundations, it is active both nationally and internationally. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s headquarters.
Independent and practical research
The ascent of China as a key global player has led to a wide-ranging shift in international power, market and communication structures. This also has consequences for Germany and Europe. MERICS analyzes the political, economic, social, technological and ecological developments in China, and the corresponding global impacts.
Through its research work, the institute makes developments and interrelationships visible that were previously hidden from view. It also plays an active role in the public debate on China and in shaping Germany’s relations to the PRC by providing new points of view and suggestions for decision-makers.
Political, economic and social expertise
MERICS makes findings from research on China available to the general public, provides information to decision-makers involved in politics, commerce and other areas of society and is also an important contact for the media on contemporary affairs relating to China. It intends to enable people to see China from various angles as well as augmenting the amount of expert knowledge on China available in Europe.
Now employing almost 30 people, MERICS has grown into one of the largest international think tanks for policy-oriented research into and knowledge of contemporary China.
MERICS’ founding director is Sebastian Heilmann, who after five years at the helm of the institute returned to his position as a professor for the political economy of China at the University of Trier. In August 2018, Frank N. Pieke took over the position of Director. Since February 2020, the institute is led by Mikko Huotari (Executive Director) and Bettina Bubnys (CFO).
International exchange and network building
MERICS cooperates with universities and research institutes both in Germany and abroad to produce innovative findings.
With its Fellowship Program MERICS supports outstanding international scholars and experts with exceptional expertise on China and brings them together in the dynamic city of Berlin. In cooperation with our research teams, MERICS enables high-class, policy oriented and innovative research on China.
The research is concentrated on three programs: