Transcultural Student Research Group | TSRG 2021
The Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative on Europe: The Case of Poland and Germany

Looking for a topic for your Humboldt, Elinor Ostrom, Bachelor or Master Thesis?
Interested in thinking about “The Impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative in Europe”?
Keen on cooperation with international peers?
Motivated to become part of the LEIZ’ project “Transcultural Caravan” and to join an interdisciplinary research group
Can’t wait to publish your first chapter in a scientific book?

As an ambitious project, the Belt and Road Initiative creates global value chains in a network that connects Europe, Asia, and Africa and that is characterised by diversity in languages, traditions, values, as well as political, social, and economic systems and settings. As one of the most fascinating and risky developments driving the formation of a global society, this initiative represents a global economic, political, social, and cultural experiment with potentially beneficial but also potentially disruptive consequences for all involved.
Against this background, it is important to contribute to the understanding of what the New Silk Road can mean in economic, political, leadership and cultural terms for the European countries involved. This analysis should reveal the practical consequences of the Belt and Road Initiative for Europe in the case of Poland and Germany, as well as their respective social effects.

The following topics are possible for the sub-research projects:
  • Economic impacts: international economy, business, logistic & transportation, innovation & technology, the impacts of COVID-19, international trade and investment, global value chains, value creation networks. ​
  • Socio-cultural impacts: transculturality, gender equality, arts, academia, media & communication, civil society organizations. ​
  • Political impacts: geopolitical impacts, bilateral relations vs. multilateral relations, 17+1, EU policy, para-diplomacy.​
  • Leadership: relational leadership, transcultural leadership, cross-sectoral leadership, organization and management culture.

Starting in May, all TSRG 2021 participants will conceptually develop specific research questions that correlate both with their disciplinary background and with the TSRG 2021 overall research topic, together with experts at LEIZ and The Michał Boym Institute for Asian and Global Studies, as well as individual supervisors (ZU professors).  Subsequently, the students will work on these questions together with students from Poland in an academic co-authoring process.
Accordingly, the group consists of several such pairs, who apply the common questions to their respective case studies and disciplines and exchange on their experiences and findings within the group. The case study research includes interviews and field research realized in the pairs and in cooperation with local universities and cooperation partners. 

First results of the studies may be presented during the Transcultural Winter School 2021. After having submitted their individualHumboldt, Elinor Ostrom, Bachelor or Master theses, a joint book from all involved students will be published in the “Transcultural Management Series” at Metropolis Publisher.


Interested ZU students from all study programs are welcome and can apply for the TSRG 2021 until April 12, 2021. To apply for the Transcultural Student Research Group 2021, please send an email to Jessica Schwengber ( Applicants should specify which possible topic for the sub-research project they want to work on. It should also be specified if they intend to write their Humboldt, Elinor Ostrom, Bachelor or Master theses in this