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Personal profile


I studied chemistry and Asian Studies in the Soviet Union, Hungary, and the U.S. before obtaining doctorates in history (Moscow State University) and sociology (Hungarian Academy of Sciences). Before coming to the VU, I taught at Macquarie University in Sydney.


My main research area is the international mobility of contemporary Chinese elites. I am also interested in Chinese nationalism, the politics of immigration in Eastern Europe, and comparative approaches to Eastern Europe and China.

Recent books:


I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on historical and contemporary migrations, nationalism, ethnicity, and the politics of history.

I currently supervise dissertation research on

  • migrant worker advocacy between Indonesia and Malaysia (Pamungkas Ayudaning Dewanto, Anthropology),
  • power and the state in a Chinese Muslim town (Jackson Liu, Anthropology),
  • the jade trade across the China-Burma border (Xiang Shaohua, Anthropology), 
  • the role of museums in education in China (Feng Xiaodan, Anthropology),
  • historical memory among Bosnian youth (Li Weizhen, Anthropology), and
  • postpartum depression and ideas of maternity among Chinese women in the Netherlands (Fiona Shan, Sociology).

Ancillary activities

  • Editor, New Mobilities in Asia  series,  Amsterdam University Press
  • Member of the editorial boards of The China Journal, the European Journal of Chinese Studies, and The Australian Journal of Anthropology
  • Member of the academic committee of the International Institute of Social History

Prizes and Awards

In 2003-04, I was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

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Research Output

Economic Nationhood and International Migration: The Case of China

Nyiri, P., 2019, Nationalism and the Economy: Explorations into a Neglected Relationship. Berger, S. & Fetzer, T. (eds.). Budapest: CEU Press, p. 237-246 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

  • Fake China

    Nyiri, P., 2 Jul 2019

    Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteAcademic

    'My Heart's Anna': Intimacy, affect, and cosmopolitanism among Chinese volunteers abroad

    Nyíri, P., 23 Nov 2019, In : Intersections: East European Journal of Society and Politics. 5, 3, p. 4-22 19 p., 515.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • The “Rise of China” and Chinese in the world

    Nyíri, P., 1 Jan 2019, In : Journal of Chinese Overseas. 15, 1, p. 123-127 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Educating World Citizens: The Rise of International Education in the Twenty-First Century

    Nyiri, P. D., 2018, Navigating History: Economy, Society, Knowledge, and Nature: Essays in Honour of Prof. Dr. C.A. Davids. Brandon, P., Go, S. & Verstegen, W. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, p. 64-80 17 p. (Library of Economic History; vol. 11).

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


    • 3 Membership
    • 1 Lecture / Presentation

    Chinezen in Europa: veranderende beeldvorming

    P.D. Nyiri (Speaker)
    28 Jan 2015

    Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

    The China Journal (External organisation)

    P.D. Nyiri (Member)

    Activity: MembershipAcademic

    Press / Media

    With Thaw Toward South Korea, Beijing Shelves Patriot Games - For Now

    Pal Nyiri


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    Pal Nyiri


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    P.D. Nyiri


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Other