Social Organizations and the Authoritarian State in China

Social Organizations and the Authoritarian State in China

By: Timothy Hildebrandt (author)Hardback

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Received wisdom suggests that social organizations (such as non-government organizations, NGOs) have the power to upend the political status quo. However, in many authoritarian contexts, such as China, NGO emergence has not resulted in this expected regime change. In this book, Timothy Hildebrandt shows how NGOs adapt to the changing interests of central and local governments, working in service of the state to address social problems. In doing so, the nature of NGO emergence in China effectively strengthens the state, rather than weakens it. This book offers a groundbreaking comparative analysis of Chinese social organizations across the country in three different issue areas: environmental protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, and gay and lesbian rights. It suggests a new way of thinking about state-society relations in authoritarian countries, one that is distinctly co-dependent in nature: governments require the assistance of NGOs to govern while NGOs need governments to extend political, economic and personal opportunities to exist.

About Author

Timothy Hildebrandt is Lecturer in Chinese Politics at King's College London. His research has been published in numerous journals, including The China Quarterly, the Journal of Contemporary China, the Review of International Studies, and Foreign Policy Analysis. He has also adapted his work for more general audiences, in forums such as the South China Morning Post, The Christian Science Monitor and the Chicago Tribune, and in several policy-oriented publications. He previously taught at the University of Southern California and held postdoctoral fellowships at USC's US-China Institute and the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville. Prior to receiving his PhD in political science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he was on the staff at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, serving as managing editor of the Center's annual policy journal, China Environment Series.


1. Self-limiting organizations and co-dependent state-society relations: environmental, HIV/AIDS, and gay and lesbian NGOs in China; 2. Political opportunities, by accident and design; 3. Central policies, local priorities: regional variation of the political opportunity structure; 4. Proximate solutions to insoluble problems: adaption to the political opportunity structure; 5. More money, more problems: struggling with economic opportunities; 6. Forever the twain shall meet: economic and political opportunities converge; 7. Strong individual relationships, weak institutional ties: the double-edged pursuit of personal opportunities; 8. Social organizations and the future of Chinese civil society.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781107021310
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 234
  • ID: 9781107021310
  • weight: 520
  • ISBN10: 1107021316

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