Prof. Dr. Ralph Weber
Associate Professor of European Global Studies / Director of the MA and PhD Programs in European Global Studies
Institute for European Global Studies,
University of Basel
Riehenstrasse 154
CH-4058 Basel
Office 01.004

Tel: +41 (0)61 207 48 51
Twitter: @RWeber_Basel

  • Methodological and Conceptual Aspects of Translinguistic and Transcultural Research
  • Comparative Philosophy
  • Chinese Political Philosophy
  • Chinese Politics (BRI, China’s Sharp Power, Swiss-Chinese Relations)
  • Confucianism

Academic Assistant


Doctoral Students

Research Associates

Current Projects

Past Projects

Ralph Weber was born in 1974 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied Political Science (politics, economics and law) at the University of St. Gallen and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Further, he studied at the University of Hawai'i in Manoa and the University of Peking, after which he worked as teaching and research assistant at the Chair of Political Science (Prof. Roland Kley) at the University of St. Gallen, where in 2007 he obtained his doctorate and was teaching the history of political ideas and political theory until 2018. Between 2008 and 2014, Weber has been employed as post-doctoral researcher and senior researcher and lecturer (Oberassistent) at the University Research Priority Program “Asia and Europe” at the University of Zurich. In December 2014, Weber began his work as an Assistant Professor of European Global Studies at the Institute for European Global Studies of the University of Basel. In 2016, he successfully completed his habilitation in Philosophy (venia legendi: comparative philosophy) at the University of Zurich. At the University of Basel, he holds full examination and promotion rights in Political Science, Philosophy, and European Global Studies. In February 2020, he was appointed Associate Professor. From 2017 to 2021, Ralph Weber was president of the European Association for Chinese Philosophy.

Further Positions

Since 2014: Co-Chair of the section on Political Theory of the Swiss Political Science Association

Ralph Weber, «Wie Chinas Parteiführung die Zukunft entwirft und in unsere Köpfe setzt.» In: swissfuture – Magazin für Zukünfte, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2023, 6–11.

Ralph Weber, “"I Seem to Hear the Camel Bells": Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road and the Politics of the Belt-and-Road Initiative as a Future Global Memory of Illiberal Internationalism.” In: Glenda Sluga, Kate Darian-Smith, and Madeleine Herren (eds.), Sites of International Memory, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023, 141–161.

Ralph Weber, “Between Utopianism and Political Realism: Liu Xiaobo, Political Confucians, and the CCP.” In: Andrea Riemenschnitter, Jessica Imbach, and Justyna Jaguscik (eds.), Sinophone Utopias: Exploring Futures Beyond the China Dream, Amherst: Cambria Press, 2023, 129–146.

Ralph Weber, «Tu Weiming und das politische Denken eines nichtpolitischen Denkers.» In: Tu Weiming, Menschsein lernen: Entwurf eines Humanismus im konfuzianischen Geist, edited by Kai Marchal, Berlin: Matthes & Seitz Berlin, 2023, 119–126.

Simona A. Grano and Ralph Weber, “Strategic Choices for Switzerland in the US-China Competition.” In: Simona A. Grano and David Wei Feng Huang (eds.), China-US Competition: Impact on Small and Middle Powers' Strategic Choices, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan / Springer Nature, 2023, 85–112.

Philippe Major and Ralph Weber, "A New Integrative Approach to the Study of Modern Confucianism." In: EU Research, Autumn 2022, 47–49, online:

Ralph Weber, « L’influence croissante de la Chine sur la scène mondiale via le système du Front uni. » In: Questions internationales, No. 116, 2022, 25–31.

Ralph Weber, «Zum diplomatischen Umgang mit grundlegender politischer Differenz.» In: Deutsch-Chinesisches Dialogforum, Publikation 2022, online:

Steven Burik, Robert Smid and Ralph Weber (eds.), Comparative Philosophy and Method: Contemporary Practices and Future Possibilities. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022, pp. 280.

Ralph Weber, “Comparative Philosophy and Comparison.” In: Mark van Hoecke and Maurice Adams (eds.), Comparative Methods in Law, Humanities and Social Sciences, Cheltenham / Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2021, 149–174.

Eva Pils and Ralph Weber, «Chinas neue Weltordnung und alte Debatten zum politischen Wesen der Menschenrechte». In: Zeitschrift für Europarecht (EUZ), Vol. 23, No. 5 (September), 2021, 182–195.

Martin Beckstein and Ralph Weber, Modeling Interpretation and the Practice of Political Theory. New York: Routledge, 2021, pp. 224.

Ralph Weber, «Der «Chinesische Traum» und die Suche nach dem Platz an der Sonne». In: MoneyMuseum Zürich (ed.), China: Eine Grossmacht im Wandel – Grenzen und Freiräume, Zürich: Conzett Verlag, 2021, 17-23.

Ralph Weber and Silvana Târlea, “Politics of Immobility: Global Knowledge Production and the Study of Europe in Asia.” In: Journal for Common Market Studies, Vol. 59, No. 1, 2021, 371–387.

Nevad Kahteran and Ralph Weber, “Towards Post-Comparative Philosophy: Interview with Ralph Weber.” In: Asian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2021, 211–221, online: Also published in: Nevad Kahteran, The Role of Comparative Philosophy in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Philosophising at the Big Fault Line, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2021, 163–174.

Ralph Weber, “Popular Representation from Above: On Recognizing the Distance Paradox.” In: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 71, No. 1, 2021, 108–129.

Ralph Weber, “Tu Weiming: The Global Confucian”. In: David Elstein (ed.), Dao Companion to Contemporary Confucian Philosophy, Dordrecht: Springer, 2020, 345–366.

Ralph Weber, “Unified message, rhizomatic delivery: A preliminary analysis of PRC/CCP influence and the united front in Switzerland”, Sinopsis – China in Context and Persepctive, online:, 18 December 2020.

Ralph Weber and Xu Zhenxu (eds.), “Human Understanding and the Realistic Spirit: The Philosophy of Chen Jiaying”. In: Contemporary Chinese Thought, Vol. 51, No. 3/4 (Special issue: Edited collection of works by Chen Jiaying with a preface by the editors), 2020, 175–235.

Book review of The End of the Cognitive Empire: The Coming of Age of Epistemologies of the South, by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2018. In: New Global Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2020, 102–105.

Ralph Weber, “一切乎虚构:欧洲全球学, 中国学和汉学 [All about Fiction: European Global Studies, Chinese Studies and Sinology]”, trans. Yang Muhua 阳幕华 and Shi Hui 石绘. In: Shijie Hanxue 世界汉 [World Sinology] 17, 2019, 1–11.

Ralph Weber and Madeleine Herren, «Die andere Mitte/Re- centering the Middle East». In: UNINOVA 133, 2019, 34-35, online:

Raji C. Steineck and Ralph Weber (eds.), Concepts of Philosophy in Asia and the Islamic World. Vol. 1: China and Japan. Leiden: Brill, 2018, pp. 742.

Ralph Weber and Martin Beckstein, «Methodenpluralismus in der Politischen Ideengeschichte». In: Zeitschrift für Politik, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2018, 550–566.

Ralph Weber and Silvana Târlea, “The Politics of Studying Europe in China”. In: Europe Now, Issue 18, June 2018, online:

Ralph Weber, “Reply to Ouyang Xiao”. In: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 68, No. 1, 2018, 256–261.

Madeleine Herren, Cornelia Knab, Teresa Pullano, Christa Tobler and Ralph Weber, “A Discussion on ‘European Global Studies’”. In: Global Europe: Basel Papers on Europe in a Global Perspective, Nr. 116, 2018, 28pp.

Regarding the supervision of Master Theses in European Global Studies, I am happy to consider enquiries from students on topics relating to Political Theory and Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, Eurocentrism and Non-Western Thought, European Global Knowledge Production, and Contemporary Chinese Political Affairs.

At present, I am particularly interested in theses researching questions within the following domains:

  • The concept of “European Global Studies” and area studies
  • European studies in a global perspective (incl. the history of European studies, research on individual cases and countries, the European Union’s global science diplomacy, etc.)
  • The Chinese One-Road-One-Belt initiative in relation to Europe, Asia, and Africa
  • The transformation of the Chinese political regime under Xi Jinping
  • Authoritarianism, democracy and the concept of authority
  • Methodological and conceptual questions surrounding the project of a Global History of Political Thought.

You are also encouraged to read the information on on-going research in the research area European Global Knowledge Production.