Sebastian Heilmann

Sebastian Heilmann ( b. 1965 in Offenbach am Main ) is a German political scientist and since 1999 professor at the University of Trier. Since 2013 Heilmann is the founding director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. His research and publication activities are directed at China's system of government and economic and innovation policy. Heilmann has many years of experience in policy advice to the federal government, state governments and political foundations.


Heilmann studied from 1984 to 1990 political science, Chinese and comparative linguistics in Tübingen and Nanjing ( China ). This was followed by some research in the United States (Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley ) and East Asia ( Beijing and Taipei). PhD in 1993 Heilmann at the Law and Economics Faculty of the University of Saarbrücken. From 1994 to 1999 he was Research Fellow for China's policy at the Institute for Asian Studies in Hamburg (now German Institute of Global and Area Studies). During this time he was director of several third-party projects and discussed, among other things the Federal Government, the Federal President, Senate and Parliament in Hamburg and political foundations. 1999 Habilitation Heilmann at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster and taught there and then for a short time as a lecturer. In the same year he was appointed to a C4 professor of political science in the area of ​​government administration, majoring in East Asia at the University of Trier. He was also a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Asian Affairs, Hamburg.

2000-2006 Heilmann led the research group share market regulation ( Research Group on Equity Market Regulation, lively ). 2005-2006 Heilmann was a Visiting Fellow at the Fairbank Center at Harvard University and conducted research there for Chinese economic and innovation policy. In the years 2007 and 2009 he acted as " Coordinate Scholar " at the Harvard - Yenching Institute as part of a multi-year research and publication project, which dealt with the basics of " Adaptive Authoritarianism " in China. 2011/2012 he was Visiting Fellow at Oxford University ( Merton College, China Centre).

From 2010 to 2013 Heilmann led the funded by the Federal Ministry of Research Group "Industry and Technology Policy of the Republic of China ". 2012 Heilmann was appointed to the editorial board of the journal The China Quarterly. Since 2000, he published the study series China Analysis on current political and economic developments in the Chinese area. Since 2013 he has headed the Berlin -based Mercator Institute for China Studies ( Merics ).

Current research interests

  • Political and economic reforms in the PRC, especially industrial and technology policy of China.
  • State Development Planning in international comparison and in historical perspective.
  • Policy innovation through experimental and pilot programs in international comparison.

Writings (selection )

  • China 's Foreign Political and Economic Relations: An Unconventional Global Power, 2014 ( edited entirely new international edition of the German version of 2012, together with Dirk H. Schmidt).
  • Foreign policy and foreign trade of the PRC. 2012 ( with Dirk H. Schmidt).
  • Mao 's Invisible Hand: The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance in China. Harvard University Press, 2011 ( ed. with as Elizabeth J. Perry ).
  • The political system of the PRC. 2004 ( 2nd edition ).
  • The Chinese stock market. 2002 ( ed. than with others).
  • The politics of economic reform in China and Russia., 2000.
  • The Reinvention of Development Planning in China, 1993-2012, ( with Oliver Melton ), in: Modern China, 2013.
  • National Planning and Local Technology Zones: Experimental Governance in China 's Torch programs ( with Lea Shih / Andreas Hofem ), in: The China Quarterly / December 2013.
  • Policy experimentation in China 's economic rise, SCID, 2008.