Dr. Christian Wirth

Research Fellow

  • Short CV

    • Since 2018: Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies, Hamburg

    • 2017: University Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Leiden University, Leiden/Den Haag

    • 2016: Visiting Associate Professor, School of Law, Tohoku University, Sendai

    • 2013: Visiting Scholar, Asiatic Research Institute (ARI), Korea University, Seoul

    • 2012 - 2015: Research Fellow, Griffith University Asia Institute, Brisbane

    • 2011/2012: Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Tokyo

    • 2012: Research Associate, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo

    • 2008 - 2011: Research Assistant, Global Institute of Asian Regional Integration (GIARI), Waseda University, Tokyo

    • 2002 - 2006 Federal Government of Switzerland

    • Education: Ph.D. in International Studies, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo; Master of International Affairs, Department of International Relations, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra; lic. iur. (Master of Law) University of St. Gallen (HSG); General Staff Officer of the Swiss Armed Forces; Chinese language studies at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei, and at Tsinghua University, Beijing.

    Current Research

    Dr. Christian Wirth is Research Fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies' Institute for Asian Studies (GIGA). He previously worked for the Swiss Federal Government and taught at Sophia, Tohoku and Leiden Universities. His research focuses on social and political change in Northeast Asia, and on maritime politics in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. He is author of Danger, Development and Legitimacy in East Asian Maritime Politics: Securing the Seas, Securing the State (Routledge Asia’s Transformations, 2017), and co-editor with Sebastian Maslow of Crisis Narratives, Institutional Change, and the Transformation of the Japanese State (SUNY, 2021).

    Countries and Regions

    • China

    • Japan

    • Korea

    • East Asia

    • Australia


    • German Association for Asian Studies 
    • German Political Science Association
    • European International Studies Association
    • International Studies Association

    Blog article | 03/2022

    The European Union’s Conceptualization of Maritime Security

    Marianne Péron-Doise

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Contemporary Security Policy | 02/2022

    Filling the Void: The Asia-Pacific Problem of Order and Emerging Indo-Pacific Regional Multilateralism

    Policy makers have converged on the need to safeguard the “rules-based order” across the newly coined “Indo-Pacific” region. However, it is not clear, what exactly is to be preserved, and why the contested terms have rapidly found their way into policy debates. An analysis.

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Ass. Prof. Dr. Nicole Jenne

    GIGA Focus Asia | 1/2022

    How to Anchor Germany’s Drifting Indo-Pacific Policy

    Naval deployments have taken centre stage in the implementation of Indo-Pacific policies. Yet, as the voyage of the frigate “Bayern” exemplifies, the German, similar to other European policies, suffers from contradictions that are hidden under the “rules-based order” label.

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Edited volume | SUNY Press | 11/2021

    Crisis Narratives, Institutional Change and the Transformation of the Japanese State

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Sebastian Maslow

    Chapter in edited Volume | 11/2021

    Crisis Narratives, Institutional Change and the Transformation of the Japanese State

    Japan has been mired in national crises and undergoing profound change since the early 1990s. The author of this book analyses the crisis narrative across and changes of public institutions three decades and ten policy fields to distinguish discursively generated crises from actual policy failures.

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Dr. Sebastian Maslow

    Research Project | 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2022

    Engaging the Indo-Pacific: German and Korean Perspectives on Regional Cooperation

    A collaborative, policy-oriented research project bringing together the GIGA and the East Asia Institute in Seoul. The project aims at analysing German and Korean strategies for Indo-Pacific engagement and identifying areas for bi- and multilateral cooperation.
    Korea Foundation, 2022

    Research Project | 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2023

    Transforming Orders: How ‘Indo-Pacific’ Geopolitics Reconstruct Maritime Space and Alter the Law of the Sea’s Territorial Sovereignty and Freedom of the Seas Norms

    Maritime territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and confrontations between China and the United States over the freedom of navigation have put questions of maritime governance high on the political agenda. This research project places Indo-Pacific maritime politics in a broader context and analyses how discourses and practices in China, India, the US, Japan and Australia alter (perceptions of) international order(s) and of the international law of the sea.
    DFG, 2021-2023

    Research Project | 01/01/2017 - 01/12/2019

    Crisis Narratives, Institutional Change and State Transformation: Japan in the Global Context

    While East Asia’s and especially China’s economic growth has become a major driving force of global change, developed countries struggle to readjust their social, economic and political institutions to the challenges of financial crises, shrinking populations, and the rising demand for and costs of social welfare. As an economically and technologically highly advanced society, Japan finds itself at the intersection and forefront of these regional and global changes.
    GIGA, Tohoku University Forum for Creativity, 2017-2019

    Contemporary Security Policy blog | Other | 30/03/2022

    The Indo-Pacific and the decline of the rules-based order

    The combination of antagonistic nationalist currents within East Asia and US resistance against the emergence of a post-Cold War order scuttled decades-long efforts to effectively institutionalize an Asia-Pacific region. Read Christian Wirth and Nicole Jenne analysis.

    Deutsche Welle | Quote | 25/03/2022

    Will Germany reduce its security role in Southeast Asia?

    After Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany increased its military spending substantially. Wary of the crisis closer to home, Berlin might not be able to play its role in providing security to other parts of the world.

    Wiener Zeitung | Quote | 28/02/2021

    Der Taiwan-Konflikt ist brandgefährlich

    Consultant | 25/02/2022

    The Rise of the Indo-Pacific: Enhancing EU-Japan Geostrategic Cooperation

    European Policy Centre Brüssel: 25/02/2022

    Roundtable discussion with Anna Fotyga, Member of the European Parliament;
    Gabriele Visentin, EU Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific; H.E. Masaki Yasushi, Ambassador of Japan to the EU, and Shino Watanabe, Professor at Sophia University

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Organiser, Moderator | 17/02/2022

    Crisis Narratives, Institutional Change, and the Transformation of the Japanese State

    GIGA Event Online event: 17/02/2022 Organisers: German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    Dr. Christian Wirth

    Research Fellow

    Teaching | Helmut Schmidt University | 2019

    Foreign Policy and International Cooperation

    Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg

    Seminar taught at University of the Armed Forces Hamburg


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