Civil society in China: Concepts, classifications and institutional environments - 中欧社会论坛 - China Europa Forum

Civil society in China: Concepts, classifications and institutional environments

Authors: Yu Keping

Date: 2006

Published by Published in Social Sciences in China, Issue no.1

This paper aims to compare and discern notions such as civil society, the Third Sector, institutional environments, civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations, non-profit organisations, intermediary agencies, mass organisations, social groups and people’s organisations and so on. It brings forward suggestions on the categorisations of China’s civil society organisations viewed from two distinct angles: that of the academic and the administrative. In particular, it analyses the main characteristics of existing institutional environments in China’s civil society. These are essentially embodied in state support in macro-environments and constraints imposed on micro-environments, as well as in registrations under state or provincial supervision1 and government-Party co-administration, co-administration and plural command2, government legislation and Party policies, institutional redundancy and inadequacy, and finally, in the coexistence of actual space and institutional space.

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