Source description last updated: 25 September 2019

In brief: The Hanns-Seidel-Foundation (HSS), founded in 1967, is a German, Christian-democratic association affiliated with the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, engaging in political education, political consulting and analysis on a national and international level.

Coverage on
Monthly Reports (PR), selected other reports (SR)
Covered monthly on, for countries of priorities A-C.

HSS’s motto is “In the service of democracy, peace and development […] This motto applies both to its domestic activities – especially Bavaria – as well as its engagements abroad. […] Since its founding on 11 April 1967, the Hanns Seidel Foundation has been engaged in political education with the aim of promoting the “democratic and civic education of the German people on Christian foundations”, to quote its statutes. […] 
The Hanns Seidel Foundation embodies Christian-social values, which influence our work both domestically and abroad.
The Hanns Seidel Foundation’s political education work is based on an idea of man that incorporates the free development of personality and personal responsibility just as much as social responsibility and solidarity.” (HSS website: Our Mission, undated)

The HSS is named after the former Bavarian prime minister and CSU chairman Hanns Seidel (HSS website: Geschichte der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, undated). The institution was founded on the initiative and after the resolution of the CSU state board. (HSS website: Geschichte der Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, undated)

“Their educational offers are available across the borders of the party for all citizens interested. Their service for democracy, peace and development abroad is based on the foundation named above. Moreover, their specific actions follow a certain standard of dignity and tolerance, freedom, responsibility, solidarity and sustainability, equal opportunities and intergeneration equity as well as a standard of subsidiarity as a principle of responsibility and structure.
A broad range of tasks has developed from its mission and objectives over the last five decades. It includes dialogue between politics, science, economics and society, as well as taking up issues relevant for the future, elaborating solution strategies for national and international challenges, teaching and practicing political competences, knowledge and skills, supporting of talented and socio-politically engaged students at home and abroad as well as supporting international communication and worldwide development cooperation.” (HSS website: Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung – Im Dienst von Demokratie, Frieden und Entwicklung, undated, p. 3f, Arbeitsübersetzung ACCORD)

“The Hans-Seidel-Foundation supports around 100 projects in 60 countries worldwide. Its focus is on strengthening the civil society, citizen participation and promotion of the constitutional state, education and management training, increasing environmental awareness and consulting decision-makers in politics, economics and administration.” (HSS website: Regionen und Projekte, undated, Arbeitsübersetzung ACCORD)

“The ‘Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung’ receives funding from the federal government and the free state Bavaria and other financiers. Member fees and donations also play a small role in the financing.” (HSS website: Häufige Fragen, undated, Arbeitsübersetzung ACCORD)

According to its balance sheets, HSS’s total budget on December 31st, 2014 added up to €41.307.667,29. (HSS-Website: Jahresbericht 2015, p. 57, June 2016)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: The Hans-Seidel-Foundation supports about 100 projects in 60 countries worldwide.
Thematic focus: Political education, promoting science, political consulting and political analysis, scholarship programs, development cooperation and maintaining international connections

“Our work aims at picking up current politically and socially relevant challenges and developing strategies supported by credible scientific evidence, to cope with these challenges. Political consulting happens in dialogue.  Therefore, we connect […] political decision-makers with leading personalities in science, economics, society, culture and media on our events, in order for them to elaborate current problems together. The outcomes of these meetings are later on journalistically edited and made applicable for political elites and their preparation of decision-making.
We differentiate ourselves from other political research institutions by i.a. having problems/questions reviewed and examined from different perspectives by experts in various fields. In our view, an interdisciplinary procedure is a requirement in order to understand the complexity of national societies and the interconnections of the international political and economic system adequately.” (HSS website: Akademie für Politik und Zeitgeschehen, undated, Arbeitsübersetzung ACCORD)

Language(s) of publications:
German and English

Further reading / links:
Think Tank Directory Deutschland (Germany)

Heisterkamp, Ulrich: Think Tanks der Parteien? Eine vergleichende Analyse der deutschen politischen Stiftungen, 2018 (accessed 25 September 2019)

All links accessed 31 July 2017, unless indicated otherwise.