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Building Civil Society in Authoritarian China

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


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace book series (BRIEFSSECUR, volume 20)

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About this book


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.


China Leadership Connections Modern Civil Society Nongovernmental Organizations Rural Migrant Workers

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Elliott School of International AffairsGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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