This paper uses theoretical analysis and substantial evidence to show that aside from the relationship of power control (权利控制) existing between state and society, there exists also assistance and support provided to society through the state’s use of public power. Moreover, this supportive relationship creates an independent dimension of interaction between state and society that cannot be simplified to the dimension of power control, a condition which we here deem the “dual-axis” relationship between state and society.
The “dual-axis” relationship is opposed to the single-axis relationship espoused in traditional theories of civil society. The latter emphasize a zero-sum relationship of strength and weakness between state and society. The dual-axis relationship is not equivalent to simply proposing that there can be a constructive relationship between state and society, but rather emphasizes the structure comprised by these two relationships, and says that support can be independent of control and exhibit an effect all its own.
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