Chinese civil society groups have achieved iconic policy advocacy successes in the areas of environmental protection, women’s rights, poverty alleviation, and public health. This book examines why some groups are successful in policy advocacy within the authoritarian context, while others fail.
A mechanism of cultural resonance is introduced as an innovative theoretical framework to systematically compare interactions between Chinese civil society and the government in different movements. It is argued that civil society advocacy results depend largely on whether advocators can achieve cultural resonance with policymakers and the mainstream public through their social performances. The effective performance is the one in which advocators employ symbols embraced by the audience (policymakers and the public) in their actions and framings. While many studies have tried to explain the phenomena of successful policy advocacy in China through institutional or organizational factors, this book not only contains extensive empirical data based on field research, but takes a cultural sociological turn to identify the meaning-making process behind advocacy actions.
Civil Society in China will appeal to students and scholars of sociology, political science, social work, and Chinese and Asian studies more broadly.
Table of Contents
1. Civil society in China? 2. At the crossroads of two theoretical traditions 3. Chinese cultural genealogy 4. Environmental policy advocacy 5. Beyond environmental issues 6. Conclusion
Runya Qiaoan is assistant professor and senior researcher at Palacky University and analyst at CEIAS. Runya’s research focuses on civil society and social governance. Her recent publications include a paper on Graduated Control 2.0 in China and a paper on China-US blame game.