Projects

China's Search for Values

The country's great awakening is changing the lives of people--and the nation.

Rediscovering History in China

Changing how people think about the past, and the present.

Leaving the land

The world's largest migration is transforming China's cities and countryside

Islam in Europe

A five-year project using original archival material to trace the roots of radical Islam

Civil society

China's unregistered churches are China's biggest NGOs, and a challenge to the state.

China's Search for Values

How to live a good life, in this world and the next.

Rediscovering History in China

New ways of thinking about the past, and the present.

Leaving the land

Folk Daoists in Shanxi are  rooted in the countryside, but moving to the cities.

Islam in Europe

The roots of radical Islam in the West stretch back to the early years of the Cold War.

Civil Society

Ordinary people are fomenting change in China's villages, cities, and its heart.

Since the late 1980s I've been interested in how people and governments interact. Over the years, this thread has run through most of my work. 

Starting in the late 1980s, I traveled regularly from West Berlin into East Germany. I saw how civil society groups in the east, especially under the umbrella of the Protesant church, created space for other groups that helped topple the communist regime. In the 1990s, I returned to China (after my first stay, from 1984 to 1985) and saw growing tensions between civil society and the government--a seesaw battle that continues today. Read more