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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Sabine Dabringhaus

Prof. Dr. Sabine Dabringhaus

University of Freiburg
East Asian History
Internal Senior Fellow
Oktober 2020 - Juli 2021

Phone +49 (0)761 - 2033427


Sabine Dabringhaus studied History, Sinology and Political Science at the Universities of Freiburg, Munich and Beijing. She earned a Ph.D. in History from the Chinese People’s University in Beijing (1990) and her habilitation degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich (2002). Previously she held a junior professorship in History at the University of Freiburg (2003-2009). Since 2009 she is professor of East Asian History at the University of Freiburg. She serves as Dean of Studies at the Faculty of Humanities (since 2018) 2008/2009, 2010/2011 and 2014/15 she was fellow at FRIAS. Since 2017, she is also a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Max Weber Foundation Officein Beijing at the European Centre for Chinese Studies.She is member of the scientific board of the Historische Zeitschriftand the Journal of Chinese History. The publications of Prof. Dabringhaus cover a variety of themes within the history of China since the 18th century. Her research focuses on the Sino-Manchurian Qing Empire (1644-1911) in the context of comparative imperial history, court societies in Asia and Europe, nationalism in China during 20th century, the history of the Chinese humanities, long term political developments in the Chinese Republic (1912-1949), the cultural basis of Chinese modernity, the history of Central Asia (especially Tibet and Mongolia), the history of Chinese diasporas in Southeast Asia and the environmental history of China.

Selected Publications

  • Geschichte Chinas von der Mongolenherrschaft bis zur Gründung der Volksrepublik. 3., vollständig überarbeitete und aktualisierte Auflage [1. Aufl. 2006]. München: Oldenbourg Verlag 2015(= Oldenbourg Grundriss Geschichte, Bd.35).
  • Geschichte Chinas im 20. Jahrhundert. München: C.H. Beck2009.Mao Zedong, München: C.H. Beck 2008(= C.H. Beck Wissen, Bd. 2439).
  • Territorialer Nationalismus in China. Historisch-geographisches Denken1900-1949, Köln / Weimar: Böhlau 2006 (= Menschen und Kulturen, Bd. 2) [Habilitationsschrift].
  • Das Qing-Imperium als Vision und Wirklichkeit. Tibet in Laufbahn und Schriften des Song Yun (1752-1835), Stuttgart: Steiner1994 (= Münchener Ostasiatische Studien, Bd. 69) [erweiterte deutsche Fassung der Dissertation].
  • Zur Geschichte Hongkongs, in: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 70:8-10 (17. Februar 2020), S. 39-45.
  • (mit Jürgen Osterhammel): Chinese Middle Classes between Empire and Revolution, in: Christof Dejung / David Motadel / Jürgen Osterhammel (Hg.), The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 2019, S. 313-336.
  • Perspectives on the Environmental History of China, in: Journal of Chinese History2:2 (July 2018), S. 281-290.

FRIAS Research Project

Cities and the Challenge of Water in Modern China

For more than two millennia, Chinese rulers and local communities have struggled to maintain ecological stability along rivers and coasts, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction in order to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts, floods and typhoons. In the course of modern China’s urbanization process, the city has emerged as a focal point for coping with different challenges of water. In the context of urban industrialization, social development and population increase, water consumption, sewage discharge and solid-waste production have been growing rapidly. A crucial question is how to control water pollution and to develop, utilize and protect water resources effectively in order to secure sustainable urban development? In this project, resilience, understood as the ability and the will to cope with various water-related issues, is the key to analyzing and evaluating the different strategies employed by Chinese urban authorities and civil-society actors in tackling the different challenges of water. From a historical perspective, the question will be examined of how the methods of water management, and the concepts that are related to it, have changed throughout the twentieth century. Three different types of Chinese cities serve as case studies for this project: the coastal city of Ningbo, the riverside city of Changzhou in the Yangzi River Delta and Chengdu in Sichuan province - a city without significant connections to coastal or riverine sources of water supply. Resilience will be tested as a central term in examining the administrative efficacy of specific forms of water resources management as well as the technical and scientific capacity to overcome urban water problems.