Ma, Y.

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faculteit der sociale wetensch ( afdeling bestuurswetenschap en politicologie )
PhD student


·         China-EU Relations

·         International Political Economy


·         2006-2010: Beijing Normal University (Beijing, China)

·         2010-2012: Renmin University of China (Beijing, China)

·         Since September 2012: Department of Political Science of VU


Research project:  Chinese investment in the EU: motivations, strategies and impact

Chinese outward foreign investment has increased dramatically with the economic integration in the world since the 1990s. Although Europe is suffering from financial and economic crisis, it has become the fastest growing destination of Chinese outward foreign investment since 2008. This PhD research aims to explore the reasons why Chinese investors invest in the EU (especially during the European sovereign debt crisis) by examining the patterns of Chinese investment in the EU and looking into their impact on Sino-European relations. This study will apply a mixed methods approach, starting with secondary data collection to map current investment patterns, followed by case studies and interviews to examine the motivations of Chinese investment in the EU, as well as panel discussions to explore the impact on China-EU relations. A theoretical framework which combines insights from business studies on foreign investment, elite studies of Chinese politics and a neo-Gramscian inspired conceptual framework will be employed in this research, providing a comprehensive perspective which allows a unique combination of levels of analysis (from the individual via the firm and the national level to that of the global political economy and of international relations). The findings are expected to enable a better understanding of motivations underlying Chinese foreign investment in Europe, and thus to explain the trajectory of Sino-European economic and political relations.