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Building Civil Society in Authoritarian China

Building Civil Society in Authoritarian China

Importance of Leadership Connections for Establishing Effective Nongovernmental Organizations in a Non-Democracy

by John W. Tai
Publication Date: 08/09/2014
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How is modern civil society created? There are few contemporary studies on this important question and when it is addressed, scholars tend to emphasize the institutional environment that facilitates a modern civil society. However, there is a need for a new perspective on this issue. Contemporary China, where a modern civil society remains in a nascent stage, offers a valuable site to seek new answers. Through a comparative analysis of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in today's China, this study shows the importance of the human factor, notably the NGO leadership, in the establishment of a modern civil society. In particular, in recognition of the social nature of NGOs, this study engages in a comparative examination of Chinese NGO leaders' state linkage, media connections and international ties in order to better understand how each factor contributes to effective NGOs.
Politics & government
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