Research profile, ongoing projects & publications
My research focuses on
(1) Global megatrends and international cooperation. The role of think tanks and nonprofits in shaping agendas for change.
(2) climate action and sustainable development policies in comparative perspective
(3) green and sustainable finance in comparative perspective/landscapes of sustainable finance
Kuhn, Berthold M. with Dimitrios L. Margellos 2022. Global Perspectives on Megatrends. The Future As Seen by Analysts and Researchers. Ibidem & Columbia University Press
The book presents a thoroughly reflected analysis of future trends by drawing on diverse expertise from leading researchers, international institutions, think tanks, investors, and social activists. Digitalisation, climate change, growing inequalities, green economy, and sustainable finance are among the key megatrends. The authors also discuss the futures of health and food, migration and civilizational developments (diversity, identity politics, individualisation, gender shift) and address geopolitical aspects and innovations in governance and management of public affairs. Based on their own research and a series of inspiring interviews ("future talks") with think tanks, experts and activists from different world regions, the authors present cutting-edge content of future studies.
Climate policies in international comparative perspective
This project is an ongoing research and teaching project that compares climate policies in different countries and regions with a focus on G 20 countries. It analyses index projects (e.g. the Climate Change Performance Index) and also looks at various policy initiatives and good practices in big cities in different parts of the world.
Comparing climate adaptation policies in Berlin and Xiamen
Focus on the Berlin Energy and Climate Protection Programme 2030 and the Xiamen Sponge City Programme, mit Prof. (Ms.) Zhou Qian, Xiamen University, ongoing
Sustainable Finance in international comparative perspective
This project has been developed in the context of the Sustainable Finance workshop which I co-hosted at the conference of the University Alliance for Sustainability Conference in 2020. It analyses the role of political initiatives, regulatory authorities, banks, asset managers, certification and consulting firms, nonprofits and initiatives of retail investors) in promoting sustainable and green finance. A first publication has come out on Sustainable Finance in Germany, published in the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment in June 2020. I have also provided advisory services to consulting firms and German International Cooperation on the topic.
Kuhn, Berthold 2020. Sustainable finance in Germany: mapping discourses, stakeholders, and policy initiatives, Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 26 June 2020
KEYWORDS Sustainable finance; responsible investment; ESG; policy initiatives; NGOs
Previous research projects (Ph.D. & post-doc research)
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)
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
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
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/
Chinas weltpolitischer Aufstieg aus dem Blickwinkel der westlichen Politikwissenschaft, WeltTrends Spezial 13, 2014
Events with Berthold Kuhn as speaker/panelist:
European Academy MV
Fr, Dec. 09- Sat, Dec. 10
Chinas Entwicklungspolitik in Afrika
contact: Eva Wilk
European Academy MV
Megatrends and Future Research (auf Deutsch)
Tue, Nov. 15, 2022.
contact: Eva Wilk
Berlin Science Week (BSW)
Megatrends and Future Research (in English)
Sat, Nov. 05, 2022,
CAMPUS, Invalidenstr. 43, 10115 Berlin,
Freie Universität Berlin
Round Table on Digitalization and other Megatrends, Nov. 3; 16:00 to 17:45 (online)
Global Perspectives on Megatrends
Our new book is out, published by
Ibidem & Columbia University Press on May 17, 2022, see Megatrends Book 2022
"Global Perspectives on Sustainability Transitions", hybrid course (online & on campus sessions) taught at FU Berlin/UC Madrid in cooperation with Prof. Asun Lopez, Summer 2022"
International Organisations and Global Governance", online course taught at Zhejiang University, HangZhou, China in my capacity as Visiting Professor., Spring 2022
"The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", Course taught at Political Science Department, FU Berlin, autumn/winter 2021/2022
Team Leader of the evaluation of the project Sino-German Center for Sustainable Development, implemented by GIZ and partners, March 2021 to Jan. 2022
Team Leader of the evaluation of the NDC Assist Project, implemented by GIZ and partners, Dec. 2020 to August 2021.
Evaluator of the European Commission supported project on Civil society support to the African Governance Architecture, Jan. - July 2021
Berlin Science Week (BSW) 2020. Lecture & Discussion "An International Perspective on Climate Policies", in cooperation with Germanwatch, Fr, Nov. 6, 14 to 16 hours, see BSW 2020 website
International Conference of the University Alliance for Sustainability (UAS), Co-Chair of the workshop on Financial Markets in Times of Climate Change, Oct. 20, 2020 see FU Berlin/UAS website
Policy analysis and consulting services for GIZ advisory project on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2020/ongoing)
Publication in the Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, June 26, 2020 (see Research)
Teaching a course on Climate Policies in Comparative Perspective (focus on the role of cities) at FU Berlin (winner of teaching award for course concept) spring/summer 2020.
Berlin Science Week November 6, 2019
Lecture on Climate Policies in Comparative Perspective
Speaker at International Forum on Ecological Civilisation, Jinan. China, Oct. 30 - Nov. 1, 2019
URBANIXX Conference, Future City, Future Village
Hsinchu City, Taiwan,
Oct. 21-25, 2019
DOC Rhodes Forum 2019, Oct. 11/12, Rhodes, Greece
Session: Sustainable Finance for Culture
Presentation on Climate Policies at City Level at Humboldt University's KOSMOS Conference on Navigating the Sustainability Transformation, August 28-30, 2019
New projects on "Sustainable Finance" (FUB UAS) and "Sustainable Finance for Culture" ( DOC)
Annual Meeting of German Council for Sustainable Development in Berlin (June 4, 2019)
Evaluation of Program "Religion and State in the Middle East "
implemented by CAFCAW, DIYAR, Bethlehem