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Chapter 5: ‘Civil Society’ Revisited: The Anatomy of a Rural NGO in Qinghai
Since the onset of the post-Mao reform movement two decades ago, China has witnessed the emergence of thousands of societal associations. Many of these operate at the sub-national level, including business and professional groups, community and social welfare associations, scholarly societies and a host of other social organisations.
Much of the early Western research on social organisations in post-reform China focused on the question of whether such groupings reflected the emergence of a ‘civil society’ that might eventually challenge the monolithic political control exercised by the communist party-state. Initially spurred in the late-1980s by democratic transitions in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, ...