Journal of Chinese Political Science

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 469–471 | Cite as

Taru Salmenkari, Civil Society in China and Taiwan: agency, class and boundaries

(Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2018), 222p. $150.00 Hardback; $49.46 eBook
  • Brett PaytonEmail author
Book Review

The title of Taru Salmenkari’s most recent book and the research within further highlight the unique crossroads the discipline of Chinese political science is currently at; the scientific and universal versus the unique and local [1]. For Zhang, Salmenkari’s approach would be considered “Western theories as core, indigenous theories as periphery” [2]. Although Salmenkari’s title and conceptual work largely borrow from Western theory, the book illustrates the deficiencies inherent in applying western-embedded political theories to the Chinese context and helps illuminate the normativity “universal theories” often downplay or ignore altogether. Salmenkari successfully carves out more theoretical space for discussion of a Chinese civil society beyond some of the restrictive conceptualizations that dominate the discourse while contributing empirical data that may be used to construct a more robust normative framework for Chinese political society from the bottom up, which incorporates...


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Copyright information

© Journal of Chinese Political Science/Association of Chinese Political Studies 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Graduate Program of Politics (IGPP)East China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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