School of Politics and International Relations

Image of Andreas Fulda

Andreas Fulda

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Fulda is a political scientist and China scholar with a keen interest in the philosophy of science. Over the past twenty years he has developed the four research strands democratization studies, EU-China relations, citizen diplomacy and academic freedom. His applied social and political science research bridges theory and practice and aims to inform western China policy.

Dr Fulda's forthcoming book Germany and China: How Entanglement Undermines Freedom, Prosperity and Security (Bloomsbury, 2024) has been widely praised:

"China matters to Germany, Europe and the world. Getting our policy towards a resurgent China right is important to Germany, Europe and other democracies. Andreas Fulda has raised serious questions about the German establishment's engagement with China in this book. It should be required reading for policy makers and others interested in how we should engage China." - Steve Tsang, Director of the SOAS China Institute

"Andreas Fulda masterfully dissects a series of Germany's pathological self-deceptions which hamper effective foreign policy, trade, and security. Exercising an impressive degree of self-reflection and impartiality, Fulda shows how a moralized, dysfunctional style of debate helped sustain obsolete policy images. The book thus offers the rare feat of not only a meticulously researched problem analysis, but also an applied example of how a robust implementation of transparency in political debates may be implemented." - Pascal Jürgens, Professor of computational communication science, Trier University

"Germany and China: How Entanglement Undermines Freedom, Prosperity and Security is a tour de force. Grounded in 25 years of research and on-the-ground experience, Andreas Fulda's third book provides an ominous critique of Germany's economic and psychological dependence on China, and the subsequent threat posed to Germany's national security. Fulda contextualises his epic account in a rich socio-political history of Germany and China relations, offering both a philosophical and pragmatic critique." - Dr Jane Richards is a lecturer in law at The University of Leeds. She did her PhD in human rights law at The University of Hong Kong, during Hong Kong's 2019-2020 anti-extradition protests

"In this highly readable monograph, Andreas Fulda scrutinises, and debunks, some of the most consequential flaws in German academic and policy thinking about the People's Republic. Xi Jinping's unmistakably clear intent to make China the next superpower requires no less than a strategic view on this country, underpinned by serious China expertise. Fulda's account, thus, betrays the power-related frictions that conventional German approaches will need to undergo. The author's research achieves this ambitious goal rather superbly." - Maximilian Terhalle, Visiting Professor, London School of Economics

"This book carries important lessons for democracies in general. It shows the risks of developing deep economic interdependencies with autocratic regimes - how they may lead to highly destructive material and psychological dependencies, opening-up for malign foreign influence. As such, Fulda's new book provides a critical contribution and a must read for European policymakers and business managers at large now struggling with 'de-risking' their China relations and developing greater autocracy competence in the wake of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine." - Mikael Wigell, Research Director at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

"Fulda discusses the ideas and policy decisions that led to the current level of dependency and vulnerability. It is required reading for anybody who wants to know how we got there, how politicians, scientists, diplomats and lobbyists created the German ideology of 'rapprochement through interweaving'. Fulda also offers a way out of the policy of voluntary entanglement. His book is a landmark on the way to a new strategic culture vis-à-vis China." - Jörg Lau, Foreign Affairs Editor at DIE ZEIT

"Fulda provides ample evidence that deficits and failures at the political level have an impact on numerous other domains and can thus, in their entirety, turn into a substantial threat to a country's economic sustainability and social cohesion. But Fulda does not stop at simply pointing the finger at failures in his home country. He also makes a number of helpful and constructive suggestions that I hope will receive the attention they deserve." - Alicia Hennig, Interim Professor for General Business Studies at the International Institute Zittau, TU Dresden

"Combing his expertise as a consultant in Germany's development agency, a political scientist and China scholar, Andreas Fulda analyses China studies' formation and underlying trends. Analyzing his positionality in these debates and contextualizing the discourses, Fulda makes a significant step for our area to foster our self-reflexivity and need to explore our positionalities for future research and discussions. At a time when the whole academic cooperation with China is adjusted, Fulda's work is required reading for all China scholars." - Sascha Klotzbücher, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

"Armed with a vast expertise in the history of ideas and International Relations, Andreas Fulda has debunked the myth of the impartiality behind the claim of objectivity in academia by calling out some of his peers and putting them in front of their responsibilities as scientists. No, he argues, Human Rights are not negotiable and yes, it is the role of experts to display clear coordinates. It does not make them lesser scientists. Fulda argues that bowing to Chinese coercion is only displaying provocative weakness which in turn invites more aggressive demands by the Chinese Communist Party." - Nathalie Vogel, Research Fellow at the Center for Intermarium Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC.

"Foreign relations with China are one of Germany's sore spots. Germany is officially committed to democracy and human rights. Yet successive governments have been mostly motivated by economic interests, resulting in increasing entanglement with the Chinese authoritarian regime. Efforts to develop a more principled approach to autocratic China have been unsuccessful. This has resulted in a problematic continuity of German China policy, as Andreas Fulda meticulously shows in his analysis. Hopefully, his book will help break this continuity." - Heiner Roetz, Professor Emeritus of Sinology at the University of Bochum

"Andreas Fulda lays bare the flawed logic that has guided the policies of successive German governments towards China over decades. In the case of Russia, the same approach built around 'change through trade' proved disastrous. It blinded the political and business elites to the real nature of change taking place in Russia and the increasingly aggressive intent of its leadership. A similarly naïve and over-optimistic approach to dealing with China has created a set of serious vulnerabilities for Germany. This book is a wake-up call for German politicians and business leaders who instinctively want to avoid confrontation with China." - John Lough, Associate Fellow Russia & Eurasia Programme, Chatham House and author of 'Germany's Russia Problem' (Manchester University Press, 2021).

"Fulda's book will be particularly useful to those who, like me, have praised Germany's economic prowess without truly grasping the geopolitical compromises that facilitated it. Though it might be an uncomfortable read for those who preside in the corridors of power in Berlin, it contains within it much that could inform policy as Germany assesses the geopolitical landscape. If, as Fulda asserts, Germany's mercantilist China policy prioritised economic gains at the cost of industrial competitiveness and democratic resilience, this book represents a long-overdue reckoning." - Martin Thorley, Asia Pacific Senior Analyst for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC). His book, 'All That Glistens: Chinese Party-State Influence in Britain', is published with Hurst

"Andreas Fulda's new work is brilliantly timed, as Germany - and the wider democratic world - casts around, since the Ukraine invasion, for lessons from their 'rude awakening' from 20 years' mostly unconditional, economically-driven engagement with the totalitarian powers of Russia and China. Based on more than 20 years' interdisciplinary research, Fulda's book seeks to provide not a new theory of international relations but more usefully, analytical tools combining theory and practice. It succinctly proposes replacing Germany's mercantilist China policy - also common worldwide - and its associated, ineffectual, Faustian bargain, with a realistic policy of 'constrainment'." - Rowan Callick, who has been China Correspondent for both Australian national newspapers, has written three books on contemporary China, and is an industry fellow at Griffith University's Asia Institute

"Andreas Fulda's new book explores the legacy of failed assumptions in German China policy and hones in on recent public debates challenging these narratives. Based on the political cybernetics of Karl Deutsch, he frames his research in terms of learning capabilities of the German foreign policy system and process. The failures and timidity of German China policy and the recent progress of the debate are well documented, thoroughly researched, dialogically discussed, and presented in a nuanced way." - Horst Fabian, Civil Society Ambassador Europe-China and independent researcher focusing on the linkages between China / Cuba, democratization and sustainable development

His previous monograph The Struggle for Democracy in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Sharp Power and its Discontents (Routledge, 2020) has been lauded by esteemed colleagues.

"Filled with rich theoretical insights and fascinating on-the-ground stories, this wonderfully-written and absorbing book tells the story of how activists in mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong think and strategize-sometimes opportunistically and at other times with deliberate intent-to advance democracy in their respective societies. The result is a compelling analysis of how and why some efforts have succeeded while others have failed, and the lessons future democracy activists should take away from both." - Elizabeth Economy, C.V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a distinguished visiting fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution

"Andreas Fulda's book is a powerful longitudinal comparison of three Chinese entities that live under very different political systems, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and a convincing advocacy for democratization. Fulda well understands the magnitude of the obstacles that so far have prevented the People's Republic from democratizing: the Chinese Communist Party's Soviet or Leninist culture, the economic privileges accumulated by the Party's Nomenklatura and its inclination to rule by bribery and by fear in order to protect them. Nonetheless, Taiwan and Hong Kong's own trajectories and well as the maturation of mainland China's democratic movement over the years have demonstrated that future political change is possible in the People's Republic as well." - Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Professor of Political Science, Hong Kong Baptist University

"In this fresh and courageous book, Fulda pulls at the roots of his subject - democracy in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan - like a gardener tackling a by-now gnarly field, and finds hope, even a plan of action: Fill the gap between theory and practice by learning from Chinese democracy practitioners, plant into democracy theory ideas of change drawn from development studies, cultivate a humanizing pedagogy that rejects domination by propaganda and power, and move away from the internalized compliance with Communist Party discourse that is by now widespread in western academia. An inspiring read packed with ideas." - Didi Kirsten Tatlow is a former MERICS Visiting Academic Fellow. She reported from China for her hometown newspaper, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong, the International Herald Tribune (now the global edition of The New York Times,) and The New York Times, from 2003 to 2017

Dr Fulda's edited book Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in the PR China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) has been praised by both leading academics and prominent foundation representatives.

"Emerging out of the EU-China Civil Society Dialogue Programme this book brings together several empirical studies of how civil society organizations contribute to policy change and innovation. The case studies of environmental health and disability groups are particularly illuminating. A fine collection of studies that are an essential read for students of social change in China." - Professor Jude Howell, The London School of Economics

"Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovations in the PR China is the one and only compass any academic or practitioner will need in order to navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of Chinese civil society with skill and confidence. Dr Andreas Fulda's nuanced and culturally sensitive perspective on Chinese civil society provides an invaluable account of a complex and rapidly changing field." - Dr Flora Sapio

"This book explores the ways in which civil society actors contribute to policy innovation in China. Sector-specific chapters are interspersed with notes from the field adding important nuance. New analyses of the emergence of government procurement of social services and social enterprise contribute to an overall understanding of how civil society is evolving in the Chinese context." - Elizabeth D. Knup, Representative/China, The Ford Foundation

In his published PhD thesis (Springer, 2009) he critiqued Germany's foreign and development policy towards China and examined new approaches for civil society assistance.

In her book review Professor Bettina Gransow (Free University Berlin) praised Dr Fulda's monograph for "not only being provocative but also inspiring."

The German Stiftung Asienhaus remarked that "this book is not only a good read for anyone interested in state- and civil society-led German development cooperation, but also for all those who who deal with the possibilities and limitations of external actors engaging with civil society actors in China."

Since 2002 he has extensively published in peer-reviewed academic journals ranging from Diplomacy & Statecraft, PS: Political Science & Politics, International Journal of Human Rights, Journal of Church and State, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, China: An International Journal, Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies, Critical Asian Studies, International Quarterly for Asian Studies, to ASIEN.

Dr Fulda is member of various academic networks and learned societies, e.g. the Citizen Diplomacy Research Group (CDRG), British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS), European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS), Hong Kong Studies Association (HKSA), and Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Asienkunde (DGA). He was an elected BACS Council member between 2017 and 2020.

Dr Fulda frequently comments on current Chinese affairs.

In 2020 he had 120 media engagements, which included TV and radio appearances, quotes in print media, as well as opinion-editorials and blog posts.

Between 2015 and 2021 he had more than fifty TV and radio appearances on BBC, Sky News, ARD, WDR, France 24, Euronews, Al Jazeera, StratNewsGlobal, IPP TV, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, Deutschlandfunk, Bremen 2, Hessischer Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bloomberg Radio and LBC respectively. Particularly noteworthy was his invitation to comment on Hong Kong's popular uprising on BBC News on 18 November 2019 as well as on BBC Radio 4 World at One on 22 July 2019. Many of his interviews can be accessed via Vimeo.

Dr Fulda also appeared on Al Jazeera's Head to Head TV show, entitled 'What is the human cost to China's economic miracle?', as part of a panel of experts on the topic including Victor Gao (Vice President of the Centre for China and Globalisation) and Professor Steve Tsang (Director of the China Institute, University of London) responding to the debate taking place between host Mehdi Hasan and key speaker Charles Liu (Senior Fellow at Peking University and informal adviser to the Chinese government). Filmed at the Oxford Union, the debate was broadcast to a potential audience of forty million households on Friday 15 March 2019 at 8pm GMT. It can be still be viewed online and has thus far amassed more than three million views on YouTube alone.

Dr Fulda is frequently quoted in China-related reports by global news outlets ranging from the Financial Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Politico, The Hill, The Diplomat, National Review, Breitbart, yahoo! news, The Globe and Mail, The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Business Insider, Express, Daily Mail, Spiked, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, The Korea Times, Japan Times, Euronews, Deutsche Welle, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Capital, Die Welt, Der Spiegel, Der Tagesspiegel, n-tv, Rheinische Post, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Finanz und Wirtschaft, oe24, Respons, Il Foglio, Formiche, Kurir, Weekendavisen, Reformatorisch Dagblad, El Confidencial, El Mercurio, La Razon, Público, Merdeka, Republic World, Republika, Bisnis, Báo điện tử Tổ Quốc, Một Thế Giới, Apple Daily, RFI, The News Lens, Jingji Ribao, EToday, Radio Taiwan International to 沃草.

He has published letters in The Times on 3 July 2020, 13 October 2020 and 17 November 2021. Dr Fulda's opinion-editorials have appeared in The New Statesman, The Spectator, The Guardian, The Independent, i-news, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The Conversation, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, WirtschaftsWoche, Forschung & Lehre, University World News, Friesch Dagblad, Apple Daily, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press, CommonWealth, and yes, a couple of years ago even in China Daily. A particularly noticeable op-ed on the topic 'Beijing Is Weaponizing Nationalism Against Hong Kongers' was published by Foreign Policy on 29 July 2019.

Dr Fulda is also active on Twitter (@AMFChina). He has more than 42,600 followers. The engagement rate with his tweets is 4%, which speaks to his ability to engage with diverse online audiences. Particularly noteworthy threads can be accessed via

Dr Fulda has also regularly published in online publications. They include the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Commentary; LSE Blog - China Dialogues; the Centre for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge; East Asia Forum; University of Nottingham's Asia Dialogue; 9DashLine; The Conversation; The National Interest; Hong Kong Free Press; IP Journal of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP); Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (APuZ), the online magazine of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB); LibMod, the online journal of the Center for Liberal Moder­nity; and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (IPSI) Online.

Dr Fulda's expertise is in high demand across government and industry.

In addition to his advocacy for liberalization and democratization in mainland China Dr Fulda has exercised intellectual leadership by advocating for a more assertive German and European China policy.

Dr Fulda also regularly attends high-profile conferences and meetings in the UK and mainland Europe. A specific example of his thought leadership is the keynote speech on the state of China's civil society at the 26 January 2017 Paris conference organised by the Institut Francais Des Relations Internationales (IFRI) on 'China's Stability at Risk: Economic, Social and Environmental Challenges'.

Dr Fulda is frequently asked to provide consultancy services (e.g. PMCG International, EuroPlus Consulting & Management, EVOLUXER S.L. International Consulting, AETS Consultants, CEPA 2, AGRER, B&S Europe, and British Council). As the PI for five projects and as commissioned researcher he has raised more than one million pounds from international funders, including the European Commission (2011-14), British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2011-12), Legatum Foundation (2014-17) and Ford Foundation (2017-19). Commissioned research for Geneva Global informed his article on the contested role of foundations in China in the open-access journal JBACS (2017).

Dr Fulda provides strategic policy advice to decision makers.

Dr Fulda has shared his expertise in the form of oral and written testimonies to the UK Cabinet Office, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Foreign Affairs Committee, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong as well as the Special Forces Club.

He has also engaged with senior politicians, civil servants and policy makers in Germany and Canada.

In May 2022 Dr Fulda briefed Jody Thomas, national security advisor to the prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau at the High Commission of Canada in the UK.

In 2022 he participated in two events hosted by the Royal Military College of Canada, speaking about the Chinese Communist Party's hybrid interference in liberal democracies.

Throughout 2021 and 2022 Dr Fulda has repeatedly advised the German Rectors' Conference on the issue of academic freedom.

In January 2021 he was invited by the UK Cabinet Office and Demos to join a new policy-focused Collective Intelligence Network, or COIN.

In December 2020 Dr Fulda joined the University of Nottingham's University Executive Board's (UEB) Internationalisation: Security Related Issues Task and Finish Group to consider the recently published Universities UK report 'Internationalisation: Security Related Issues'. Together with his colleagues he will help consider the UUK report, determine the steps to be taken in relation to each of the recommendations it contains, and assist the process of staff consultation as appropriate.

In October 2020 hejoined the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) as Foreign Affairs Advisor.

On 14 July 2020 Dr Fulda provided testimony to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong. He was invited to share his views of the Chinese Communist Party's infringement of academic freedoms in the West.

In June 2020 he had an in-depth discussion about Germany's China policy with Gyde Jensen MdB, Chair of the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German Bundestag.

In January 2020 Dr Fulda shared his insights into the state of affairs in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong with Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham Professor Shearer West.

In October 2019 he joined a roundtable at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) hosted by Mr Nic Hailey, Head of the Hong Kong Task Force where he provided specific policy advice on UK-China relations. Also in October Sir Jeremy Greenstock, former UK Representative on the Security Council and Chairman of Gatehouse Advisory Partners invited Dr Fulda to brief him and his associates for one hour on the situation in Hong Kong.

In August 2019 UK Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman MP Tom Tugendhat invited him to provide policy advice for the British government on how to respond to the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong.

Dr Fulda has provided foreign policy advice for more than seventeen years. During his PhD research (2003-07) he organised three roundtable meetings between Chinese civil society practitioners and German politicians on behalf of the German Embassy in Beijing. He co-authored a China Country Report on the status of participatory development commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in 2006. He also reported key findings from his research to the Head of the German parliamentary Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development (AWZ). Conclusions from his PhD thesis directly informed a parliamentary inquiry and a parliamentary motion of the German Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) in 2008.

Selected Publications

Ph.D. supervision

I am interested in supervising students who want to work in the following areas:

  • Democratic security;
  • Hybrid interference by autocratic regimes;
  • Sino-German relations;
  • Academic freedom;
  • Citizen diplomacy.

Supervision as first supervisor of successfully completed Ph.D. theses:

Hoffman, Samantha R. (2017), Programming China: the Communist Party's autonomic approach to managing state security. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

Thorley, Martin (2021), Fool's Gold?: Sino-British Elites and the 'Golden Era' of Relations, PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

School of Politics and International Relations

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact us