Published research in English is reviewed on the Nonprofit Sector (NPS) in mainland China since Mao’s death in 1976. A large, diverse, and rapidly growing NPS exists, but openly political Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs) outside the Communist Party and its control are prohibited. China has civil society in the narrower sense: a substantial civil society sector or NPS exists. However, the party-state in China continues to play a dominating role in regard to the NPS, especially for registered NPOs. Freedom of association is still limited in China, especially for national associations, which are nearly all Government Organized Nongovernmental Organizations (GONGOs), not genuine NGOs/NPOs. The broader scope definition of civil society focuses on functioning civil liberties, and the ability of NPOs in general to influence significantly the government on various policy issues. In these terms, China has a weak but slowly emerging civil society with far more associational freedom than under Mao.
David Horton Smith (PhD Harvard University, 1965) is Research and Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Boston College, USA. Founder (1971) of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action/ARNOVA (www.arnova.org) and NVSQ, he is founding Editor of this journal.
Ting ZHAO (Ph.D. Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2015) is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Political Science and Public Administration, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China. His research areas include government-nonprofit collaboration in China, conflict resolution/transformation, and state-society interaction theories.
B. CHINESE TERMINOLOGY FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (NPOs)
C. THE MILLENNIA-LONG HISTORY OF NONPROFIT ASSOCIATIONS IN THE LARGER WORLD AND IN CHINA
D. NONPROFIT SECTOR EXPANSION IN CHINA SINCE 1978
E. THE CHINESE NONPROFIT SECTOR AND POSSIBLE CIVIL SOCIETY
(1) The Issue of NPO/NPS Autonomy from Government
(2) Unofficial (and Illegal) NPOs:‘Authentic’ NPOs in China Subject to Little Government Influence?
(3) Moderate Freedom in Internal NPO Governance, but Also Problems of Efficiency-Effectiveness
(4) The Role of INGOs and Other Foreign NPOs in the Chinese Nonprofit Sector
F. THE GLOBAL CONTEXT AND GROWTH OF RESEARCH ON NPOs AND THE INTERDISCIPLINARY FIELD OF VOLUNTARISTICS
G. GOVERNMENT AMBIVALENCE AND THE ILLEGALITY OF CHINESE USOs
H. ADVOCACY AND RESISTANCE BY CHINESE NPOS: LOCAL, CAUTIOUS ACTIVISM, CAREFULLY DONE
I. FORMAL AND INFORMAL VOLUNTEERING IN CHINA
J. RECENT AND PLANNED CHANGES IN THE CHINESE NPS AND GOVERNMENT SINCE 2011
(1) Four Types of NPO Are Allowed to Register Directly and Locally Now
(2) The Government-Trade/Business Association Separation and Reform
(3) Government Outsourcing of Services through Contracts with NPOs
(4) Building Party Units Inside the NPS and NPOs
(5) The Beian (Documentation) System for Unregistered Social Organizations/USOs
(6) Civic Participation in the National Charity Law Drafting Process
(7) The Internationalization of Chinese Charity and Philanthropy
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