The recent Chinese leadership transition is a useful opportunity to re-evaluate the current state of Chinese civil society. Commentators have long debated whether the space for civil society is growing or shrinking in China, or whether the concept of civil society is even relevant. According to many of those working in China’s civil society sector however, the picture is quite clear. The space is growing and the actors, and the forms their actions are assuming, are becoming increasingly diverse even as the political system remains authoritarian. Changes such as the rapid rise of private foundations, new forms of philanthropy, and the growing use of public advocacy are catalogued extensively in a series of China Development Brief publications released earlier this year. Together, these reports show an increasingly pluralistic and informed civil society acting to bring attention to, and help ameliorate, the many problems stemming from China’s rapid growth. Shawn Shieh is the English-language Editor of the China Development Brief and will be at the Wilson Center to discuss these exciting developments. We hope you can join us!
*Copies of the Chinese NGO Directory and Public Advocacy Report will be available for purchase at the talk.
- China Development Brief Translation Project, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, United Nations Development Program, and the Asian Development Bank