Zihao Song

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Zihao Song studied International Politics and History at Xiamen University (2013-2017) and the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2018-2021) and received a Bachelor of Law, a Bachelor of History and a Master of History.During this time his interests were the integration of states in early modern Europe and the social economy of the Old Babylonian period. In 2021-2022 he studied European Studies at KU Leuven in Belgium and obtained his MA with thesis on the Carlsbad decrees. From October 2022, he conducts research on the exchanges between Austria and China in the mid-to-late 19th century at the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna. Zihao Song has some experience in comparative politics and anthropological fieldwork. In his spare time he usually watches movies, rides or visits zoos.

Research interests: Global History, Intercultural Communication, History of Reception since the 19th Century. The history of European integration from a comparative perspective, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Political and cultural history in the context of Sino-European relations.

Current research project: The shifting of Austria's perception of China from the mid-late 19th century to 1914 under the Habsburg monarchy and how China acquired and shaped its identity in the modern world in this interaction.
Today’s relations between Austria and China is mostly within the framework of the European Union and is included in the international relations field. But Austrian views on China is deeply influenced by historical elements and it is an interesting way to understand it from an interdisciplinary perspective. In China, the research on the interaction between China and the rest of the world is still undeveloped and limited in methodology. Researchers focus more on contemporary times and other traditional great powers. It is hard to find researchers and academic works in the field of China-Austria interaction. The 19th century would be a proper period of time to address this topic. Firstly, it witnessed the major history of Austrian Empire and compared with other empires it shared many similarities with China in Qing dynasty such as the administration, the minorities situation and their images in other countries’ views. Secondly, mass media developed rapidly during this period and took a role in the world view of ordinary people. The information gap between up and down was narrowed and the collective perception was forging gradually. Thirdly, the colonial powers from Europe prevailed the world and global knowledge exchange was gradually established centered on Europe. Austrians also faced an influx of knowledge from non-European regions albeit the Austrian Empire was not generally considered a colonial power. The diplomatic relation between Austria and China were established during this period, reaching their climax in the early 20th century, and several major events during this period required further studies like the Vienna World's Fair in 1873 and the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. On the other hand, some cultural and life elements from China were also continuously entering Austrian society and involving various fields. The communication between Austria and China was part of a globalized exchange from the 19th to the 20th century and in this period new forms of contact between dynasties, nations and regions came into being. Thinking both from local level to global level would be beneficial for understanding that time and the world we live in.