Consultancy and dialogue program
Event: Society and Politics
Prof. emeritus Thomas Meyer (Professor emeritus for Political Science at the Technical University of Dortmund and deputy head of the core value commission of the German Social Democratic Party), Prof. Frank Decker (Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University Bonn and member of the core value commission of the German Social Democratic Party ) and Prof. Wolfgang Schroeder (Institute for Social Sciences at the University of Kassel and member of the core value commission of the German Social Democratic Party) started their visit attending a discussion meeting in the afternoon of June 12th at the School of Government at Peking University at the invitation of the Dean of the School of Government, Prof. Yu Keping.
During the discussion meeting, the German experts discussed innovative approaches of governance to integrate citizens in order to settle conflicts between different groups of society and guarantee public welfare from a German and Chinese perspective. Initially the experts from the two countries had to lay the theoretical ground e.g. by defining what public welfare means and whether there really exists one concept of public welfare. The presentations of the experts from both sides varied between more theoretical presentations, e.g. talking about trust and societal participation as central mechanism for societal integration and general ways of societal conflict resolution. Some presentations also presented concrete examples of innovative ways of governance e.g. concerning the management of social organisations in China and the relationship between the governance of communities and the involvement of citizens.
The experts from China and Germany agreed that despite the differences, the two countries share many common challenges concerning governance against the background of digitalisation and the ongoing pluralization of society.
On June 13th, the three experts participated in the main event of the program, a symposium titled “Plurality of interests of different groups in society and public welfare” at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China. The event was subdivided into three panels. Within the context of the first panel “Plurality of interests of different groups in society and public welfare”, the experts lay the theoretical ground to define what both sides understand when talking about public welfare. After both sides had agreed upon a theoretical foundation, both sides discussed “Ways of conflict management against the background of diverging societal interests” within the second panel. In the third panel both sides shared their views on “Trust and societal participation as central mechanisms of societal integration”. Similar to the discussion meeting at the Peking University the day before, the German and Chinese experts agreed that the two countries share many challenges concerning governance. This could function as a common ground for further exchange to find solutions to these challenges.
On the sidelines of the program the three German experts also met Chinese intellectuals and political decision-makers to exchange views of current developments in Germany, Europe and China.