Handbook of Research on NGOs
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Handbook of Research on NGOs

Edited by Aynsley Kellow and Hannah Murphy-Gregory

This volume provides a critical overview of research on Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs). While it notes that the definition of NGOs is contested, and can include both business and national groups, it focuses primarily on international NGOs engaged with human rights, social and environmental concerns, and aid and development issues. With contributions by Peter Willetts, Tom Davies, Bob Reinalda and other leading scholars, it provides a series of critical essays on both general aspects of NGOs and significant issues of particular concern.
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Chapter 18: The rise of NGOs in the People’s Republic of China

Carolyn L. Hsu


In the early 1990s researchers found almost no evidence of domestic NGOs in China. By 2016, China had nearly 700,000 organizations registered with the government, and between 2 and 8 million additional unregistered organizations. The most popular areas of focus have been the environment, education, disabled people, women’s issues, community development, and healthcare. This chapter examines how the Chinese NGO sector boomed despite a hostile political and legal environment and a suspicious populace. It explores the history of charitable work in the Imperial era and social welfare under the socialist state during Mao Zedong’s regime, and conditions that made the emergence of Chinese NGOs possible. It analyzes the current strategies Chinese NGOs use to mobilize citizens and influence government actions while under an authoritarian political regime, thereby developing new forms of civil society. Last, the chapter looks at the influence of the international NGO sector on Chinese NGOs.

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