Anna Lisa Ahlers
Lise Meitner Research Group Leader (Jan 2020-Sep 2025)
Anna L. Ahlers is the founder and head of the Lise Meitner Research Group China in the Global System of Science at the MPIWG which explores the many facets of China’s rapid and extensive ascent in the global system of science. In her current research projects, she focuses on questions of authoritarianism as an environmental factor for science, and, more specifically, on the interactions of scientists and scholars with the government in policy-making in the People's Republic of China (PRC).
After studying sinology and political science at the University of Tübingen, Peking University, and Renmin University (PRC), Anna Ahlers completed her PhD in China Studies at the University of Tübingen. Before joining the MPIWG in January 2020, she was a tenured Associate Professor in Modern Chinese Society and Politics at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has also worked at the University of Bonn (FIW), the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), Academia Sinica (RoChina), and the University of Chicago where she was a Wigeland Visiting Professor in the academic year 2018/19. Between 2017 and 2022 she was a member of the Junge Akademie (BBAW und Leopoldina) and in 2020/21 a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (IAS).
Anna Ahlers has published widely on the political system of the PRC, especially on local governance, forms of regime legitimation, the implementation of rural reconstruction programs, and the urban “war against smog,” and, in a more comparative perspective, on the bipolarity of authoritarianism and democracy in the 21st century. She is a member of the editorial board of The Environments of East Asia series (Cornell University Press), an editor of Soziale Systeme (De Gruyter), a member of the executive committee of the European Journal of East Asian Studies (Brill), and associate editor of the Journal of Chinese Governance (Routledge).
From Technocracy to Scientocracy? Science-Policy Interactions in the Chinese Local State, 1990–2020
Scientists, Politics, and Climate Change in China
Sino-Norwegian Centre for the Study of Society and Environment (SINORSE)
The Merton Project: Science and Political Regimes in the 21st Century
Turbulent Transmissions: The Public Roles of Chinese Scientists in the Covid-19 Crisis
Ahlers, Anna L., Damien Krichewsky, Evelyn Moser, and Rudolf Stichweh (2021). Democratic and Authoritarian Political Systems in 21st Century World Society. Vol. 1: Differentiation, Inclusion, Responsiveness. Global Studies & Theory of Society 5. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783839451267.Read More
Ahlers, Anna L. (2014). Rural Policy Implementation in Contemporary China: New Socialist Countryside. London: Routledge.Read More
Ahlers, Anna L., Mette Halskov Hansen, and Rune Svarverud (2020). The Great Smog of China: A Short History of Air Pollution. Asia Shorts 4. Ann Arbour, MI: Association for Asian Studies.Read More
Shen, Yongdong and Anna L. Ahlers (2019). “Blue Sky Fabrication in China: Science-Policy Integration in Air Pollution Regulation Campaigns for Mega-Events.” Environmental Science and Policy 94: 135–142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2018.12.005.Read More
Ahlers, Anna L. and Rudolf Stichweh (2022). “Die Bipolarität von Demokratie und Autoritarismus und ihre gesellschaftlichen Ursprünge.” Soziale Systeme 25 (2): 377–417. https://doi.org/10.1515/sosys-2020-0021.Read More
Ahlers, Anna L. (2022). “The Future of Global Science Relations.” Issues in Science and Technology 39 (1, Fall). https://issues.org/scientific-collaboration-china-zhang-forum/.Read More
Ahlers, Anna L. and Thomas Heberer (2021). “More Exchange at Eye-Level: European Research Cooperation with the People’s Republic of China.” Global Cooperation Research 3 (2): 19–23. https://www.gcr21.org/publications/gcr/gcr-quarterly-magazine/qm-2/2021-articles/qm-2-2021-ahlers-and-heberer-more-exchange-at-eye-level-european-research-cooperation-with-the-peoples-republic-of-china.Read More
External Presentations & Talks
Berlin Science Week