Julian Dierkes

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Public Policy
policy communication
contemporary Japan
digital diplomacy
supplementary education
mining policy
Japanese education

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters

Research Options

I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.

Research Methodology

area studies
expert interviews
qualitative analysis


Master's students
Doctoral students
Any time / year round
  • All topics related to contemporary Mongolia
  • Research on contemporary Japanese education
  • Comparative work on cases that are like Mongolia or Japan in some specific aspect
  • Mining governance in emerging resource economies

Please note that the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs where I am appointed, only offers a professional Master's program (Master in Public Policy and Global Affairs), but no research programs. While I have co-supervised dissertations or served on committees in Anthropology, Law, Mining Engineering, Political Science and Sociology, students would have to find a primary supervisor in one of those programs and be admitted to those programs. Under those circumstances, I am eager to advise students.

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in supervising students to conduct interdisciplinary research.

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Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Local citizenship and socialized governance: Linking citizens and the state in rural and urban Tianjin, China (2012)

This study uses the China case to revisit some of the central assumptions of the literature on citizenship, showing how citizens and states are formed in and through the local places where citizenship is practiced. It suggests that the location of the political and of citizens have been an understudied aspect of citizenship orders, not just in relation to the growing impact of global and transnational forces, but also in sub-state entities.Through fine-grained examination of the daily interactions between citizens and state agents, this study shows how citizenship in China is embedded in local relationships of belonging, participation and entitlement anchored in institutions that organize people in workplaces, urban neighborhoods and rural villages. Based on 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork in four communities in Tianjin, China, the study examines how two such institutions, the villager and residents committees, act as a nexus for participation and formal rights, while also providing social welfare to the needy. The practices of these institutions bind citizens to the state through a face-to-face politics that acts both as a mechanism of control and a channel for claims-making and pressure from below, a mode of rule I call “socialized governance.” Both enabling and constraining, this exists in tension with bureaucratic-rational forms of governance, such as the current Chinese leadership’s objective of “ruling in accordance with law.” While the frameworks for citizenship are set at the national level, its local, cellular character means great variation among places in both form and practice. My model of local citizenship helps explain patterns of economic and social inequality and of contentious politics in contemporary China. While the unsettling of the congruence between the national and citizenship has been widely noted, this study points to how local, national and global institutionalized dimensions of citizenship have consistently been mediated through or exercised in sub-state entities. The narrative of the nation-state has so dominated the literature on citizenship that it has generally made invisible the actual techniques and processes through which citizenship orders are made, re-made and contested. As a unitary state with a strong national project, the China case provides intriguing material for rethinking how the local shapes citizenship.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Registered (un)belonging: negotiating South Korea's institutionalized boundaries of belonging for migrants (2021)

South Korea, a country once mired in the myth of national identity based on hyultong (혈통, bloodline), in 2006 officially declared its efforts to invest in building a damunhwa sahoe (다문화사회, multi-ethnic and multicultural society). Yet, despite various efforts South Korea has not been able to avoid discrepancies between its migrant integration policy objectives and their outcomes. In this thesis, I propose that both a problem and a solution lie in the boundaries of belonging embedded in South Korea's mainstream policies. I build my conceptual framework through reviewing literature written in English and Korean by migration and policy scholars and build my analytical framework on comparative policy analysis. This is a primarily theoretical thesis that makes use of real-world citations when possible, aiming to be a building block for subsequent empirical studies. I highlight South Korea’s resident registration policy as an example that illustrates how the policy practice of “fringing” (as opposed to mainstreaming) migrant issues and integration has contributed to the integration gap in South Korea. I then suggest how South Korea's history in negotiating institutionalized gender boundaries to reform its family registration system can be used to evolve the exclusionary boundaries of belonging within its resident registration system and similar mainstream policies.

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States and societies in the digital arena: ICT, state capacity, and political change in Asia (2012)

How does adoption of information communication technology (ICT) alter the balance of power between state and society in Asia? There is no question that these tools – the Internet, mobile phones, and social media – are transforming the political communications landscape across the region. Since political science views power as zero-sum, a central question is how its distribution is altered between digitally-strengthened states and digitally-empowered societal actors. On the one hand, societal actors are empowered through increased information access and dissemination, as well as decreased costs of mobilization and organization. At the same time, the state's digital capacity is greatly enhanced through increased information collection, monitoring, and control. This study hypothesizes that adoption of ICT in Asian states empowers societal actors over time enhancing non-electoral democratic processes subject to regime legitimacy and the digital state capacity governments build and apply. It first develops a theory for how ICT empowers both societal actors and states before testing this across Asian states through a quantitative analysis. The results suggest that Asian state policy determines whether and how ICT empowers societal actors and net political change. It then develops this policy concept through the lens of digital state capacity - how states control and manage digital information. Finally it conducts a qualitative analysis for China on the interaction of ICT adoption, regime legitimacy, and digital state capacity policy to determine net political change. The results demonstrate that while ICT adoption has strengthened the Chinese state through digital state capacity this has come at the loss of state control over a range of political issues. For these issues, the net result in China has been empowered-societal actors and enhanced transparency and accountability.

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Basic decision-making theory: a case study on the Oyu Tolgoi mine project in Mongolia (2010)

My thesis briefly discusses decision-making basic theory, in particular the deliberation method, and applies it to decision-making in the mining sector when making investment agreements between government and the private sector. However, decisions could be examined and applied in every industry sector. For instance, the mining sector includes many different decision making methods such as cost benefit analysis and socio-economic, environmental and health impact assessments. Every analysis and impact assessment requires different stakeholder participants and analysts from different sciences. This can sometimes make decisions more complicated. My thesis analyzes the planned Oyu Tolgoi (OT) copper and gold project in Mongolia using the Multi Account Evaluation method, which includes financial, economical, social and environmental analysis. It also briefly discusses social and environmental impacts from the Mongolian government point of view and whether this project will have a positive or negative influence on Mongolian economic and social development. My thesis also shows the current Mongolian decision-making situation and its problems.

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News Releases

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