Dr. Berthold Kuhn Research and Consulting
Dr. Berthold Kuhn                                                 Research and Consulting  



Research profile, ongoing projects & publications

Sustainable Finance in international comparative perspective


This project has been developed in the context of the University Alliance for Sustainability Conference 2020. It analyses the role of different stakeholders (political initiatives, regulatory authorities, banks, asset managers, certification and consulting firms, nonprofits and initiatives of retail investors), analyses their exposure, involvement in global initiatives (PRI, GRI, CDP) and aims to explain their growing engagement with sustainability issues? The project will also keep track of policy-making and new regulatory changes and looks at the contributions of different stakeholders to advance the sustainable finance agenda in different countries.

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


Sustainable finance for culture


This project has been developed in cooperation with the Dialogue of Civilisations (DOC) Research Institute and the French advisory firm Respethica.

It analyses sustainability strategies, communication products, and practices of stakeholders in the financial sector. The initiative was launched at UNESCO in Paris in July 2019 and pays attention at investment strategies that focus on the promotion of culture and arts. A first report was produced in May 2020.

Culture-Minded Sustainable Investors
To facilitate the link between the world of finance and the world ofculture, the Dialogue of civilizations Research Institute (DOC) and Respethica launched the "Sustainable Finance and Culture Initiative" last year. On the occasion of the DOC Rhodes Forum (October 2019), the Rhodes Call to advocate introducing culture in the sustainable finance agenda was drafted. In order to better share this initiative, it was decided to interview some committed investors to understand to what extent they claimed the contribution of culture in their sustainability vision and investing practices.
Culture-Minded Sustainable Investors , T[...]
PDF-Dokument [262.5 KB]

Ongoing projects:


Climate policies in 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 (German Watch et al.), that aim to compare the performance of countries in climate mitigation and also looks at various policy initiatives and practices in 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 


Vorträge / Speeches 2018/2019
Website 2020.docx
Microsoft Word-Dokument [41.1 KB]

Book Publication 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]


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





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