Manfredi  Valeriani

GEM-STONES Doctoral Fellow


Host Institutions

Thesis Title

European and Chinese civil societies organizations in global governance

Research Abstract

With globalization, national actors are often forced to expand their area of interest to a more international level. International institutions are spreading around the world, and companies are engaging more and more in international trade. Civil society is affected as well. With the aim of tackling global issues and addressing global externalities, civil society plays an important role in the international arena. However, difficulties arising from acting in different and often complicated environments can prevent civil society to operate efficiently. 


Focusing on China, the project aims at identifying those factors that prevent civil society organizations (CSOs) from being effective in environments far from the European experience. At this stage, the idea behind the project is to map the current status of the cooperation between European and Chinese CSOs and then proceed with an analysis of the relevant cases.


In order to do so, I will structure my research in different steps. First, I will proceed with a review of the literature on civil society, civil society and global governance, civil society and centralized systems, and finally cooperation between CSOs. This first part should provide me both with a strong theoretical background and a clear identification of the variables to take into account. Second, using the database of the Union of International Associations (with some integrations from different sources), I will proceed with a network analysis in the attempt to get a clear picture of the current status of the cooperation between European and Chinese organizations. Third, an analysis of the results of the network analysis will allow me to identify relevant cases (i.e. those where cooperation is successful or those where cooperation seems to have encountered some obstacles) that will be further analyzed using more in-depth techniques (i.e. interviews).


As it could have emerged from this brief introduction, I am planning to combine a quantitative with a qualitative analysis. In doing so, I will use a mixed method approach with the quantitative analysis having an instrumental role. The network analysis will only draw a picture and I am not expecting to use it to identify specific causal relations.


Hopefully, the final results of the research will be useful for a deeper understanding of the European and Chinese relations and will serve as a basis for other studies under different circumstances.


EU-China CSOs. Detailed case studies to be defined later. 

Societal Relevance

This work can be used by a series of different actors. First, it can be interesting for those European civil society organizations (CSOs) that are interested in accessing the Chinese framework. Second, it can be useful for policy makers in order to improve the conditions under which European CSOs operate. Stable and good relations between different civil societies can consolidate relations at a national level. Third, with this research, I hope to successfully engage in the academic debate over civil society. At the same time, I am willing to fill the gap in the literature that is present while discussing relations between European and Chinese CSOs. 


There is a gap in the academic literature over EU-China relations when it comes to civil society. 

The general attitude towards China is to assume that there is little or no civil society at all. However, the number of Chinese CSOs has exponentially increased in the last years. 

China seems to be a “closed market” for foreign CSOs. However, CSOs that have successfully engaged in activities in China can still be found. 

No real empirical findings at this early stage of the research. 


EU – Researcher at Universität Hamburg
December 2016 – Present

GEM-STONES Marie Curie PhD Fellow. Focus on European and Chinese civil society and global governance. 

Trainee – ECFIN Section at EU Delegation to China and Mongolia in Beijing
April 2016 – July 2016

Part-Time Collaboration-Staff at LUISS Guido Carli – External Relations and Events
November 2014 – July 2015

Consultant for the high school “Liceo Farnesina” at Liceo Farnesina – MEP Italia
September 2012 – July 2015



LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome) – Master’s degree, Global Studies
September 2014 – October 2016

Thesis in International Public Policies 110/110 cum laude

The study plan was oriented toward a deep understanding of the international relations from several points of view: economic, political, legal. The courses allowed me to improve the skills I acquired during my undergraduate program. After a selection process among my classmates, I was chosen to take part in a Double Degree program with the China Foreign Affairs University.

China Foreign Affairs University (Beijing) – Master’s degreeInternational RelationsSeptember 2015 – May 2016

Defended Thesis: “Why Did the European Countries Join The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?”
Enrolled in a Double Degree program with LUISS University I studied one year in China. CFAU’s courses helped me developing my knowledge about Chinese politics and economy. All the skills I acquired have proven useful for my internship at the EU Delegation in Beijing.

Università degli Studi di Roma Tre (Rome) Laurea Triennale (Bachelor’s degree)Scienze Politiche e Relazioni Internazionali
2011 – 2014

Grade: 110/110 cum laude. Thesis in statistical models: “Statistical and Territorial Analysis of the Deaths on Italian Roads: Methodological Alternatives”. The study plan included subjects of economics, law, political science, history, sociology, and statistics. My final thesis in statistics allowed me to developed good skills in data mining and data analysis.

Liceo Scientifico Statale Farnesina (high school) – Diploma Liceo Scientifico
2006 – 2011

Grade: 100/100

Contributions to


Tutte le Sfide della Banca Multilaterale di Pechino

Incubo Overcapacity



Conferences and Events:


08/02/2017 – Brussels –  Conference on “DAVOS and EU-China relations re-thinking the global economy”



06-07/02/2017 – Brussels –  AGORA Forum on “Surfing on or drowning in complexity – The European Union in Today’s Unstable World”

               Participant as researcher to the activities and round tables proposed at the AGORA Forum.

This project has received funding from the European Union's horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 722826.