1st Edition

Civil Society in China How Society Speaks to the State

By Runya Qiaoan Copyright 2022
    162 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license

    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.

    'Overall, the book is a worthwhile attempt to change the field of Chinese civil society by explicitly incorporating cultural sociology into the agenda. It joins the emerging “cultural turn” in the field and stimulates further research along the line. I recommend it to researchers interested in civil society and Chinese politics.' - Bin Xu, Journal of Chinese Political Science