Confucianism and Innovation – Wolfgang Drechsler’s Spring Visit to China and Japan

Wolfgang Drechsler, Professor and Chair of Governance at the TUT Ragnar Nurkse School and Vice Dean for International Relations, served for the local Spring Term 2015 as Visiting Professor of Public Administration and Technology Management at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, being affiliated with its Research Institute for Development Strategy (RIDS), which is also a national-level center. “Zheda” is one of China’s classic top 9 universities and one of the three leading entrepreneurial ones in the country. Drechsler taught a full graduate class on “Technology & Society”, conducted a PhD seminar, and gave public lectures on “Confucian Public Administration: New Developments” (for the Department of Public Policy) and “Innovation in Context: Theory and Practice”. Further cooperation between RNS and RIDS, particularly on the research and project level, has been scheduled.

After Hangzhou, Professor Drechsler went to Tokyo, hosted by Meiji University, to conduct interviews – primarily on the topic of Confucianism in Japanese Public Administration, but also on the challenges facing the Japanese bureaucracy, including e-Governance – with high-ranking civil servants in several ministries and government agencies, as well as with academic colleagues. This visit concludes the first full round of his project to investigate today’s role of Confucianism in the Public Administration of all six Asian systems usually labeled Confucian: China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.