In this talk Dr Fulda examines how foundations—foreign and domestic, public and private, operating and grant-making—are engaging with Chinese civil society organisations (CSOs) in an authoritarian political context. In the first part of his talk he traces the evolving policy framework which has influenced the development trajectories, legal statuses, and modes of operation of both foreign and domestic foundations. In the second part, Dr Fulda discusses foundation positions, paradigms, and power. Based on twelve interviews that he conducted in 2014 with foundation representatives and CSO leaders, Dr Fulda determines how foreign and domestic foundations position themselves vis-à-vis the party-state, market, and civil society; what their understanding of philanthropy is; and how foreign and domestic philanthropic foundations deal with the power imbalance in the grant-maker–grantee relationship.
Dr Andreas Fulda is Assistant Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham. Dr Fulda is research active in the fields of EU-China relations as well as philanthropy and civil society in Greater China. He received his PhD from Free University of Berlin in 2009. His PhD supervisor was Professor Eberhard Sandschneider, former Director of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP). In his published PhD thesis he critiqued Germany’s foreign and development policy towards China and examined new approaches for civil society assistance. He wrote his PhD thesis whilst working in Beijing as a development practitioner. As a consultant he has helped design and implement three major capacity building initiatives for Chinese civil society organisations: the Participatory Urban Governance Programme for Migrant Integration (2006-07), the Social Policy Advocacy Coalition for Healthy and Sustainable Communities (2009-11) and the EU-China Civil Society Dialogue Programme on Participatory Public Policy (2011-14). His consultancy work over the past ten years has led to two additional publications: a Chinese-language Policy Advocacy Manual on Environment and Health for NPOs (Zhongguo Huanjing Chubanshe, 2013) and the book Civil Society Contributions to Policy Innovation in the PR China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). For both book projects he enlisted twenty-eight leading scholars and civil society practitioners from around the world. Both publications are testament to his highly collaborative working style. Dr Fulda is currently providing consultancy services for Geneva Global, a leading philanthropic consulting firm based in Philadelphia, USA. His commissioned research is instrumental to the China Social Sector Pioneers programme (CSSP). CSSP is a strategic initiative funded by the Legatum Foundation and managed by Geneva Global.