A Path for Chinese Civil Society

A Path for Chinese Civil Society : A Case Study on Industrial Associations in Wenzhou, China

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Through close investigation into the industrial, organizational, and social governance of industrial associations in Wenzhou and in-depth analysis of their challenges and developments within the institutional context, this book explores the non-western path for civil society development in China and provides fresh empirical evidence and insightful analysis of how industrial associations have actively participated in local industrial governance and conduct of public affairs, gained greater space for their development, and become indispensable partners of local government in social governance.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 222 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 4 Graphs; 18 Tables, unspecified
  • 0739170074
  • 9780739170076

Review quote

The book is an important contribution toward understanding the path of civil society in China through industrial associations. Its empirical base provides strong ground for understanding the emergence of civil society under the socialist state. Voluntas In this volume, Jianxing Yu, Jun Zhou and Hua Jiang offer a comprehensive and persuasive analysis of the development of industrial associations in Wenzhou, China...The authors acknowledge that not only are industrial associations far more developed than other sectors of civil society, but also that Wenzhou itself is unique to China. The Wenzhou model has long been associated with an unusual degree of market orientated development and private sector responsibility. Yet the authors are undoubtedly right in arguing that the case of Wenzhou's industrial associations points to the conditions under which a fully-fledged civil society might eventually arise in China. Indeed, in this respect China is not qualitatively different from other states in which pluralism and civil society grow through the initiative of state actors in order to enable social actors to solve collective action problems that they are unable to solve themselves. Journal of Contemporary Asia The book... contains a wealth of interesting new empirical information. ... The book's chapters provide important insights in their own right, showcasing the merits of a close organizational analysis of industrial associations. ... Overall, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature on the wide variety of associations that have emerged in China since the 1980s. It is full of fresh empirical data, and the close organizational analysis sheds light on business associations in a particularly vibrant part of China. Industrial associations are now a ubiquitous part of China's political-economic landscape, and the authors have provided an insightful picture of the issues and dilemmas these associations face in navigating the space between business and government. China Information "What is the foundation of Chinese civil society, and what are its inherent factors? How do various social entities interact in Chinese political and social practices, and what are its inherent determinants? How are theories regarding the Chinese civil society integrated with political concepts in China, and what are the approaches to and methods of merging them?" These are the questions that inform Jianxing Yu and his colleagues' new book on civil society, a must read for those interested in comparative politics and studies of China. ... What fundamental lessons can be derived from the study of WIAs? The authors' answer is "the growth of civil society in China through participation in the governance of public affairs." Journal of Chinese Political Science The book's main contribution lies in its detailed description of the industrial associations, providing examples of relatively independent associations that do seek to serve their members and use multiple channels to influence government policy and behavior. Journal of Asian Studies Over the years Professors Jianxing Yu, Jun Zhou, and Hua Jiang have written, singly or together, some of the most detailed and careful investigations of industrial associations in the city of Wenzhou, known for its private, entrepreneurial economy. Now they have combined forces to write this comprehensive and fascinating account of the rise and role of industrial associations in Wenzhou. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the current state of state-society relations in China. -- Joseph Fewsmith, Boston University This book adds fresh material to the discussion on the development of a specific 'Chinese' civil society taking business associations in Wenzhou as a case study. In defining civil society the authors differ from the 'western' concept of the emerging of autonomous social spheres confronting the state. Civil society is rather defined as the emergence of a public sphere beyond the party-state which nevertheless takes places in the shadow of state hierarchy, exhibiting strong interweavings with the state. Undoubtly, developments such as in Wenzhou may be forerunners but other areas are following and learning rapidly. It is surely a welcomed phenomenon that Chinese scholars increasingly present their research findings in English thus enhancing discourses among civil society researchers across cultures and political systems. The book shows convincingly: there is not only one distinct pattern of civil society existing across the world but rather multiple patterns coined by very different cultural, social and political conditions. -- Thomas Heberer, University Duisburg-Essen and Zhejiang Universityshow more

About Jianxing Yu

Jianxing Yu is professor of political science and public administration, Associate Dean of the College of Public Administration, Director of the Institute for Civil Society Development (ICSD), and Executive Director of the Center for Public Policy Studies at Zhejiang University. Jun Zhou is associate professor of public administration and general secretary of Institute for Civil Society Development (ICSD) at Zhejiang University. Hua Jiang is professor and associate dean of the School of Business at Wenzhou University.show more

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Reflections on Development Approaches to the Chinese Civil Society Chapter 2: The Rise of Industrial Associations in Wenzhou Chapter 3: Organizational Governance of Industrial Associations in Wenzhou Chapter 4: Industrial Governance and Performance of Industrial Associations in Wenzhou Chapter 5: Social Governance of Industrial Associations in Wenzhou Chapter 6: The Malfunction of Industrial Associations in Wenzhou and Its Rectification Chapter 7: The Relationship between Industrial Associations and the Government in Wenzhou Conclusion: Lessons from Wenzhoushow more