Social Entrepreneurship and Citizenship in China: The rise of NGOs in the PRC, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Social Entrepreneurship and Citizenship in China

The rise of NGOs in the PRC, 1st Edition

By Carolyn L. Hsu


166 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Over the last thirty years, social entrepreneurship has boomed in the People’s Republic of China. Today there are hundreds of thousands of legally registered NGOs, and millions more unregistered, working in the areas of the environment, education, women’s issues, disability services, community development, LGBTQ rights, and healthcare. The rise of these Chinese NGOs and their implications for civil society merits the focus of significant scholarly attention.

This book draws upon the personal stories of social entrepreneurs in China, as well as their supporters and beneficiaries, in order to examine what the rapid growth of social entrepreneurship reveals about China's complex and dynamic society in the 21st century. It discusses the historical, cultural, and political circumstances that allowed and inspired people to become social entrepreneurs and create new forms of democratic engagement. Examining what social entrepreneurship with Chinese characteristics looks like, the book explores how it is changing the relationship between Chinese citizens and the state, and goes on to explain the subsequent effect on Chinese society.

Highlighting the importance of citizen activism in the PRC from an interdisciplinary perspective, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese Studies, Chinese Politics, Civil Society and Sociology.

Table of Contents

1. The Earthquake

2. Was There Charity in Imperial China?

3. The Pioneer: From Socialism to Social Entrepreneurship

4. The Perfect Suzhi Fairy Tale

5. Getting in Bed with the State

6. Environmental NGOs: Foreign Funding and Chinese Connections

7. Conclusion: After the Earthquake

About the Author

Carolyn L. Hsu is Associate Professor of Sociology at Colgate University, USA. She is the author of An Institutional Approach to Chinese NGOs (2015) and Creating Market Socialism (2007).

About the Series

Routledge Research on the Politics and Sociology of China

The modern Chinese state has traditionally affected every major aspect of the domestic society. With the growing liberalization of the economy, coupled with an increasing complexity of social issues, there is a belief that the state is retreating from an array of social problems from health to the environment. Yet, as we survey China’s social and political landscape today we see not only is the central state playing an active role in managing social problems, but state actors at the local level, and non-state actors, such as social organizations and private enterprises, are emerging.

Coiled in this environment, this book series is interested in examining the politics and sociology of contemporary China. The series will engage with research that explores the intricacies of institutional interactions, and analysis of micro-level actors who are shaping China’s future.

The book series seeks to promote a discourse and analysis that views state and society as contested spaces for power, authority, and legitimacy. As a guiding principle, the series is notably interested in books that utilizes China as a laboratory for confirming, modifying or rejecting existing mainstream theories in politics and sociology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POLITICAL SCIENCE / NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies