Dr. Berthold Kuhn Research and Consulting in International Cooperation
Dr. Berthold Kuhn                                                 Research and Consulting in International Cooperation

Research news


New publications in 2018 and work in progress


work in progress:

Governance for Sustainability Transitions, International Symposium on Collaborative Governance, Oct. 25-26, Palermo, Italy (forthcoming), conference paper accepted.


Shrinking Spaces and Emerging Opportunities for Civil Society Organisations in China , paper presented at ISTR World Conference, Amsterdam July 9-13.


published papers:


Changing Spaces for Civil Society Organisations in China

Open Journal of Political Science, 2018, 8, 467-494



China’s Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Analysis of Push and Pull Factors and Implementation Challenges, Chinese Political Science Review (peer reviewed Journal with impact factor > 3), July 2018



Chinas Bemühungen. Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (E+Z) und Development and Cooperation (englische Printversion), Januar 2018 (online) und Jui/August 2018 (print). https://www.dandc.eu/de/article/china-will-nachhaltige-entwicklung-v



Berlin, April 2017


Sustainable Development and Climate Policies in China, LAP Publishers, ISBN: 978-3-330-05869-9


With the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA in November 2016, the promotion of the sustainable development agenda faces new challenges. China has already taken several opportunities to reaffirm its continued support for global agreements on sustainable development and climate change. This compilation of six research notes written by Berthold Kuhn (one co-authored by Zhang Yangyong) sheds light on the potentials and limitations for promoting sustainable development and climate protection in China. Against the backdrop of a strong government and tightened political supervision in many policy areas, the “green development agenda” stands out in providing opportunities for the business community, think tanks and universities as well as nonprofit organisations to implement projects and gradually influence policies in favour of more sustainable economic development in China

Berlin, Dec. 2016


The E-book version of my book "Development Politics between Market and State" (based on my post-doc research 1999-2004) is now online available (FU Berlin e-docs), open access. Campus Publishing House returned the rights to me after 10 years .


Please note that the book is written in German. The Chinese translation is available with Renmin Publishers (2009), still for sale. You find an English summary in the German version on page 372.


Kuhn, Berthold M. Entwicklungspolitik zwischen Markt und Staat. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen zivilgesellschaftlicher Organisationen; Frankfurt a.M., New York (2005), Peking (2009), Berlin (2015)




Papers based on my research on collaborative governance and sustainable development discourses in China in spring/summer 2016 (UAS supported, research stay at Peking University)

Sustainable Development Discourses in China
Journal of Sustainable Development; Vol. 9, No. 6; 2016

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015. The term sustainable development will further shape international cooperation in the next decade and beyond. It is also frequently used in China’s policy documents and connects well to a set of home-grown Chinese discourses, in particular the term of ecological civilisation and the chapter on green development in the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP) approved in March 2016. This paper discusses Chinese discourses related to the promotion of sustainable development on the basis of interviews with experts – academics as well as practitioners. The hybrid character of the concept of sustainable development has been conducive t
KuhnB JSD Sustainable Development Discou[...]
PDF-Dokument [232.5 KB]
Kuhn, Berthold (2016), Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Development in China, Open Journal of Political Science, 6, 433-453.
Kuhn OJPS Oct 2016.pdf
PDF-Dokument [370.7 KB]


The global sustainable development agenda of the United Nations stresses governance and partnerships involving public and private actors as key elements for achieving the sustainable development goals. This paper relates the analysis of the P.R. China’s growing engagement for sustainable development to the concept of collaborative governance. Based on the analysis of literature, policy documents, participation in conferences as well as interviews with experts, it proposes five factors to explain the promising developments of collaborative governance for sustainable development in China: political leadership, discourses, in-country expertise, institutional density and international cooperation. Against the backdrop of a strong government and tightened political supervision in many policy areas under the Xi Jinping administration, Chinese academics as well as practitioners largely agree that the “green development agenda” stands out in providing opportunities for the business community, think tanks and Universities as well as nonprofit organisations to implement projects and gradually influence policies and practices related to the promotion of sustainable development




Report Research Stay at Peking University 2016
PDF-Dokument [226.6 KB]

Recent contributions to books and encyclopedias

2015: Policies, Collaboration and Partnerships for Climate Protection in China, in: Jing,Yijia (ed.): The Road to Collaborative Governance in China, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 71-94: http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/The-Road-to-Collaborative-Governance-in-China/?K=9781137525192

2015:   Im Spannungsfeld zwischen Wissenschaft und Praxis, Dilemmata der Entwicklungspolitik (Dilemmata in Development Cooperation), edited by Netzwerk entwicklungspolitischer Fachleute (Network of Development Cooperation Advisors), Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2015, ISBN 978-3-8382-0768-1, pp. 67-76

2015:  „Demokratieindizes“, „Bertelsmann Transformation Index“, „Freedom House Index“ (three entries), Methoden-Lexikon für die Sozialwissenschaften (edited by Rainer Diaz-Bone and Christoph Weischer, ISBN: 978-3-531-16629-2, Print, and 978-3-531-18889-8 Online, http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-531-18889-8, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden.


Recent papers published in academic journals


2016  Sustainable Development in China,  in: Journal of  

           Sustainable Development 12/2016.


2016 EU China-Cooperation on Human Rights, in:

          Friends of Europe, 11/2016


2016: Collaborative Governance for Sustainable   

           Development in China, in: Open Journal of Political 

           Sciences, 10/2016


2015    “Climate Protection and Civil Society Organisations in

             the P.R. China”, in BBE Europe News 11/2015 –   

             Newsletter  for Engagement and Participation in   


2014    “Climate Protection Governance and Participation in the People’s Republic of China, in ASIEN, The German Journal on Contemporary Asia, Nr. 133, October 2014, pp. 52-71, http://asien.asienforschung.de/asien-133-oktober-2014/


2014    “Against all Odds. Chinas weltpolitischer Aufstieg aus dem Blickwinkel der westlichen Politikwissenschaft,“ (China’s Rise in World Politics from a Political Science Perspective); WeltTrends, Zeitschrift für internationale Politik, Spezial 13, 2014, http://welttrends.de/spezial-13/


2014:    “Capacity Building on Non-Governmental Organisations in China”, with Yangyong Zhang (co-author): http://www.istr.org/ general/custom.asp?page=WP_Muenster (International Society for Third Sector Research, Weltkonferenz, Münster, July 2014, www.istr.org)


2014:   “Survey of Experts on Climate Change Awareness and Public Participation in China.” with Yangyong Zhang (co-author), Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 1/2014, pp. 177-212; http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jcca/


Survey of Experts on Climate Change Awareness and Public Participation in China
Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 1/2014: 177-212, with ZHANG Yangyong, peer reviewed: www.CurrentChineseAffairs.org
PDF-Dokument [319.4 KB]

Chinas weltpolitischer Aufstieg aus dem Blickwinkel der westlichen Politikwissenschaft, WeltTrends Spezial 13, 2014

Climate Change Awareness, Role of NGOs and Citizens' Participation in the P.R. China.
UNEP-Tongji University Shanghai Conference ppt June 8, 2013
KUHN Berthold, ZHANG,Yangyong, CHEN Keru, JIA Xibei
PDF-Dokument [2.1 MB]
State-Market-Civil Society Collaboration in Promoting Low Carbon Policies and Lifestyles in China
Collaboration Among Government, Market, and Society: Forging Partnerships and Encouraging Competition. Conference by Fudan University, APPAM, May 25-27, 2013 in Shanghai
KuhnB ppt 3.0 short.pdf
PDF-Dokument [374.3 KB]


New Publication on "Changing Spaces for CSOs in China" OJPS

DOI:10.4236/ojps.2018.84030 Oct. 28, 2018


Speaker at Conference on Collaborative Governance  in Palermo (IT), Oct. 25-26, 2018


Teaching two courses on Sustainable Development Policies at FU Berlin in fall/winter 2018/2019


Research stay at School of Internatonal Studies, Peking University and Lecture at School of International Studies, Zhejiang University (Sept. 2018)


New publication: "China's Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals", Chinese Political Science Review, July 2018


Teaching a course on "Sustainable Development in Theory and Practice" at Xiamen University in July 2018


Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development on 4 June 2018 at the Tempodrom in Berlin.


University Alliance for Sustainability Spring Campus 2018, April 9-13, Freie Universität Berlin


Peking University - FU Berlin workshop on SDG policies and implementation in Beijing, March 2018


Advisory work for the Delegation of the European Commission in Beijing, winter 2017/2018


FU Berlin: teaching an intensive course on international cooperation at Otto Suhr Institute, winter term  2017/2018


Evaluation of research projects submitted to the EU's Horizon 2020 programme (Nov. 2017).


Speaker at Conference Voices from East Asia, Ruhr-University Bochum, Nov. 15-16, 2017


Speaker at SustEcon Conference, Berlin, Sept. 25-26


Evaluating a TNB-STEP programme of  German Academic Exchange Service in Shanghai (Sept. 2017)


Evaluations: IPA and EIDHR applications for the European Commission (May, June 2017) and DAAD STEP project in China, (June to October 2017)


New book publication:

Sustainable Development and Climate Policies in China, LAP, ISBN 978-3-330-05869-9,

see Research


E-book versions of my books "Development Politics between Market and State", and Participatory Developoment in Rural India, see Research


Paper published on "Sustainable Development Discourses in China", Journal of Sustainable Development 12/2016


Paper published on "Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Development in China" Open Journal of Political Science, 10/2016


Global Discourses and Practices of Sustainable Development. Master Course, Dept. of Political and Social Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin

Green Transitions. A Common Challenge for Emerging and Industrialised Economies. CAS/ISD, FES Workshop in Beijing, Sept. 26-27


African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI),  Team Leader of the Appraisal Mission (travelling to Ethiopia, Benin, South Africa), February 2016


Chinesisch-Deutsches Wissenschaftsforum, Workshop an der Peking University, Nov. 27-28


Speaker at GIZ-ABI Winter School Democratic Governance, Nov. 9-13, 2015


FU Berlin, OSI: International and development cooperation in theory and practice  (teaching of Master level course, starting 23 Oct. 2015, in German)


Xiamen and Beijing: Courses on sustainable development and collaborative governance, qualitative research methods, and refugees in Europe, Oct. 2015


Nonprofit Academic Centers Council 2015 Conference: July 15-16, 2015, DePaul University, Chicago, IL





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