School of Politics and International Relations

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Andreas Fulda

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Andreas Fulda is research active in the fields of EU-China relations as well as philanthropy and civil society in Greater China.

Over the past fifteen years Dr Fulda has exercised intellectual leadership by advocating for a more critical, creative and constructive European China engagement. While conventional approaches to EU-China relations primarily focus on trade and investment and emphasise the importance of government-to-government ties, his scholarship highlights that a sustainable partnership between Europe and China requires the strengthening of civil society exchanges and collaborative people-to-people relations in multi-track diplomacy. His research bridges theory and practice, engages wider groups and communities in policy, industry, practice and public, involves academics, civil society practitioners and policy makers, and aims to influence European China policy.

His study of Sino-German development cooperation and European civil society assistance to China has informed briefings with politicians and foreign policy makers.

During his PhD research (2003-07) Dr Fulda 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.

At the heart of Dr Fulda's scholarship is the question how external actors can support China's civil society organisations without risking the ire of the Chinese government.

In his published PhD thesis (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."

His edited book Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in the PR China (2015) has been praised by leading academics and prominent foundation representatives alike.

"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

"This book is very comprehensive and authoritative for the international community to understand Chinese NGO's engagements and contributions to policy innovation. The documented cases demonstrate Chinese NGOs have been making impacts on various important policies, from environmental protection to labour. However, there are many crucial obstacles for Chinese NGO to overcome if they want to make more influential and structural roles on policy changes." - Dr Howard Hung to Liu

His academic work has also shaped the thinking among German, British and European foreign policy makers. He reflected on his dual role as foreign policy analyst and social development practitioner in research articles for International Quarterly for Asian Studies (2009) and Political Science & Politics (2011).

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

This is evident from frequent requests to provide consultancy services (e.g. CEPA 2, AGRER, B&S Europe, British Council). As the PI for five projects and as commissioned researcher he has also raised £1,035,000 from international funders, including the European Commission (2011-14), British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2011-12), Legatum Foundation (2014-17) and Ford Foundation (2017-18). Commissioned research for Geneva Global informed his article on the contested role of foundations in China in the open-acces journal JBACS (2017).

He has also engaged in knowledge transfer during events with external audiences in Europe and shaped the international discourse about new modalities in European China policy.

His thought leadership is evident from invitations to high-profile events in Europe, e.g. his keynote speech on the current 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', his expert role in Berlin on 25 April 2017 at the MERICS European China Talent Program 2017 as well as his participation in the 27 April 2017 panel organised by Young China Watchers on 'Europe-China Civil Society Cooperation: In Search of Ways Forward'.

Dr Fulda frequently comments on current Chinese affairs in the media. He made six guest appearences on Al Jazeera between 2015 and 2017. He has written opinion-editorials for the South China Morning Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The Conversation, and China Daily. He is frequently quoted in China-related reports by newspapers ranging from The Globe and Mail, Daily Mail, El Confidencial, Weekendavisen, The Korea Times to Japan Times.

He also has a global digital footprint in the form of contributions to online debates facilitated by US-based think tanks such as ChinaFile or the Council on Foreign Relations. His podcast on the future of China's civil society with Professor Elizabeth Economy (C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations) was accessed 1619 times and introduced key findings from his book 'Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in the PR China' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) to a global audience.

The five-part Video Policy Brief series, which Dr Fulda produced on behalf of the China Policy Institute and Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies between 2016 and 2017 in the context of an ESRC IAA project, was promoted via Facebook and viewed 15,180 times.

Selected Publications

School of Politics and International Relations

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