State and Society Responses to Social Welfare Needs in China: Serving the people, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

State and Society Responses to Social Welfare Needs in China

Serving the people, 1st Edition

Edited by Jonathan Schwartz, Shawn Shieh


198 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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This volume examines the shifting role of the state and social organizations (e.g. NGOs) in providing social services in contemporary China. A series of case studies identifies a dynamic whereby the state increasingly withdraws from social service provision with social organizations taking up the slack. An interdisciplinary line up of contributors explore this dynamic, and how it affects the state-society relationship and the quality of social services provided.

Based on current research, this book engages existing debates over state-society relations offering a new thematic framework to evaluate this relationship. Drawing on the framework, each chapter explores a particular aspect of social service provision including orphan care, migrant labor protection and infectious disease control. Differentiating between case studies of crisis and non-crisis social service provision situations, this volume argues that state and social organizations engage in ongoing negotiations to achieve shared social service provision goals – a dynamic largely controlled by the state. However during crises, the controlled relationship may alter as the priority becomes addressing the immediate demand for essential social services. The result is the potential for a rapid change in relations between the state and social organizations.


"Overall, this book is worth reading and is recommended for scholars and students who want to learn more about the changing social life and policy responses, and particularly the changing dynamics of social organizations and the state in China." - The China Reviews, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Spring 2010)

"This volume is a valuable addition to the growing literature on cooperative relations

between state and society in China…Because the contributors in the book include some of the best known scholars on

these topics, the book is rich with insights and details. It should be of interest to

anyone working on these issue areas, the role of NGOs, or state-society relations

more generally." - Bruce J. Dickson, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington

University, Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction 1. State and Society Responses to China’s Social Welfare Needs: An Introduction to the Debate Shawn Shieh and Jonathan Schwartz 2. Beyond Corporatism and Civil Society: Three Modes of State - NGO Interaction in China Shawn Shieh Part II: Social Welfare Responses in Noncrisis Situations 3. The Role of the State and NGOs in Caring for At - Risk Children: The Case of Orphan care Catherine H. Keyser 4. Navigating a Space for Labor Activism: Labor NGOs in the Pearl River Delta of South China Hong Zhang and Marsha Smith 5. Green Activism?: Reassessing the Role of Environmental NGOs in China Timothy Hildebrandt and Jennifer L. Turner Part III: Social Welfare Responses in Crisis Situations 6. The Institutionalization of Buddhist Philanthropy in China André Laliberté 7. The Impact of Crises on Social Service Provision in China: The State and Society Respond to SARS Jonathan Schwartz 8. The Role of NGOs in China's AIDS Crisis: Challenges and Possibilities Joan Kaufman Part IV: Conclusion 9. Serving the People? The Changing Roles of the State and Social Organizations in Social Service Provision Jonathan Schwartz and Shawn Shieh

About the Editors

Jonathan Schwartz is Associate Professor of Political Science at SUNY New Paltz. His research focuses on factors influencing policy implementation.

Shawn Shieh is Associate Professor of Political Science at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He is engaged in two projects in China, one on corruption and the other on NGOs.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary China Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies