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Edited by Katie Laatikainen and Karen Smith

Group Politics in UN Multilateralism provides a new perspective on diplomacy and negotiations at the United Nations. Very few states ‘act individually’ at the UN; instead they often work within groups such as the Africa Group, the European Union or the Arab League. States use groups to put forward principled positions in an attempt to influence a wider audience and thus legitimize desired outcomes. Yet the volume also shows that groups are not static: new groups emerge in multilateral negotiations on issues such as climate, security and human rights. At any given moment, UN multilateralism is shaped by long-standing group dynamics as well as shifting, ad-hoc groupings. These intergroup dynamics are key to understanding diplomatic practice at the UN.

Wenhui Xu, Wenqi Dong and Min Cai


With the idea of governance spreading, governance thinking has also begun being applied in the field of project management, giving rise to an emerging theory of project governance. The nature of charitable organizations and their disadvantage in resource mobilization make it necessary also to apply the idea and analysis framework of governance to project operations and move from project management to project governance. This article will illustrate, through an analysis of the “Aid De facto Orphans” Project that the Changsha City Yuelu District Boundless Love Commonwealth Culture Promotion Association (DAWJ) has launched, that a charitable organization in its process of project governance must also hold fast to its mission and, on the basis of the mission, set objectives of project governance, select partners, build governance mechanisms and control governance performance.

Xue Zhang and Tian Gan


NGOs are faced with the dilemma of action logic in participating in poverty alleviation at the grass-roots level: if they do not embed into local areas, they cannot carry out activities; if they embed too deeply, they will be molded in reverse and cannot realize successful exits. So what action logic will NGOs take in the process of poverty alleviation? Through field observation of H organization which participated in the poverty alleviation project of a pig farm in J village, this paper puts forward the action logic of “soft embeddedness” (SE) on the basis of the theory of “embeddedness” and “soft governance.” SE mainly includes three aspects: the soft relationship embeddedness of culture and custom, the soft resources embeddedness of negotiation by many parties and the soft structure embeddedness of rural regulations and folk conventions. Compared with that of “hard embeddedness” (HE) which emphasizes institutionalism and inculcation, the action logic of SE has its own characteristics. It includes the flexibility of interaction, the strategy of participation and the limited responsibility boundary. The SE action logic helps maintain the autonomy of NGOs, promote the accumulation of village social capital and realize the sustainable development of poverty alleviation projects. At the same time, this paper theoretically complements and extends the interaction between the states and the society as well as the action logic of NGOs in China.

Wenen Luo and Ying Huang


Social enterprises (SE) certification is a process of labeling SE and distinguishing them from other types of organizations. This article centers on the SE certification practices in China’s Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, analyzes their development conditions and compares them in the three areas. The research has found that there are many similarities in certification organizers, essential criteria, SE qualifications, government role, the application of certification results in such areas. Meanwhile, evident differences have also been found, which can be explained from the institutional contexts within which social enterprises grow and the maturity of non-profit sectors in these regions. Through the analysis of SE certification practice in the three areas, this article points out that SE certification practice varies in different institutional contexts, but in general it helps social enterprises to construct a unique and distinct identity so as to better acquire support from the market, government and other entities. At the same time, we should be alert to the “fence effect” when endorsing social enterprises, and avoid setting fine-grained indicators which may bring damage to the diversified ecology of social entrepreneurship.

Chengcheng Song and Xiangcheng Wang


Recent research about nonprofit rationalization (especially in China) tended to focus on “net” effect explained by a particular theory, and thereby ignored the combinatory effects of different mechanisms in specific environments. In this article, echoing from the configurational perspective, we used csQCA to explore the potential combination of different mechanisms that may shape the formation of nonprofit rationalization. Through the analysis of 14 cases from three cities of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, we found that rationalization of a nonprofit requires its leaders/important members to have certain career experience when it receives the corporate giving; the results also indicate that rationalization requires leaders/important members to have corporate work experience when it receives corporate giving, despite the absence of government support and competition.

Xunyu Xiang and Yushan Xu


This paper employed the multi-case study method to explore the interactions between nonprofit support organizations (NSOs): NPI and three practical nonprofit organizations (NPOs) (X, Y, Z), which is incubated by NPI. By applying the analytical framework of collaborative governance, this paper indicates that a well-developed interactive relationship exists between these two organizations, on basis of equality and voluntary. Meanwhile, they shared a mutual goal and maintain an effective interaction. Consequently, it stimulates the building of collaborative network among social organizations.

Childhood Research Beyond Children: Public Engagement and the Rights of the Child

A Book Review of Alan Prout’s The Future of Childhood – Towards the Interdisciplinary Study of Children

Chao Zhang and Jingyi Wang


With the globalization of technology and the changes of society, the boundaries between childhood and adulthood have become increasingly blurred. Children’s studies begin to re-examine the modern thinking and the binary opposition in childhood research, and propose that in order to adapt to the diversity and continuous influence of childhood, childhood research must look for and effectively use non-dualistic theoretical analysis resources. On the one hand, “actor-network theory” and “complexity theory” have provided such research with a theoretical basis, transcending the perspective of binary opposition, focusing on the long-term effects of childhood on individual public character and the public participation of children. On the other hand, information media technology and community participation play an important role in the building of contemporary childhood, especially for the vulnerable groups of children to gain the ability of public participation and enter the public sector. Childhood research requires a broad theoretical perspective and an interdisciplinary approach. It also requires attention to the processes and mechanisms of how children’s participation influences the acquisition of individual public character. How to effectively use information technology to promote public participation, expand the existing public space and form an effective connection with practical community participation is the key to realizing a “good society” in the future for children.

Yiyang Zhuang


As the increasing discussion over social stratification and mobility indicates, the idea of “education changes destiny” has progressively been brought into question. In his classic study of British working-class boys from 1975, which is widely read in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and education, Paul Willis uncompromisingly revealed that liberal ideology about equal opportunity was only an empty promise and, more importantly, how the counter-cultural cognition and expression adopted the constraints of the structural conditions and at the same time leads to the reproduction of them. Despite the tragic mechanism behind the contradictory counter-culture, Willis remained optimistic about the radical potential in the symbolic works against dominant discourse. His in-depth ethnographic description didn’t only contribute to the endless theoretical debate about Structure and Process, but also provided a methodological approach encouraging extensive fieldwork, in which he believed the “theoretical uncertainty” lies. Ethnography can really “become the intellectual education of those who are governed,” if the scholars are willing to understand and communicate with the informal cultural groups and believe that their fate can be changed.

Nandakumar Mekoth and Raina Pinto


We conducted a study using an experimental approach and made a comparison of customers’ Willingness To Pay (WTP) during two time frames; one highlighting an event – Joy Of Giving Week (JOGW) and the other; post JOGW (Non-Joy Of Giving Week) not specifically linked to giving. When a time frame highlighting an event is used, it provides a stimulus to the customers which triggers a response in terms of higher WTP. We posit that a time frame highlighting an event can have an impact on customers’ WTP for a product linked to a cause. We present a new facet of Facilitated Giving Form of Cause Related Marketing (CRM).This form offers benefits to three entities: the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in terms of increased availability of funds, customers experience a ‘feel good factor’ by purchasing a product of the NGO associated with a cause and, builds the image of the business unit.

Weijun Lai and Huafang Ding


The promulgation of Chinese Charity Law in March 2016 was expected to break the long-term monopoly of governmental charities in public fundraising in China. However, governments’ regulating practices on fundraising seem to be still quite ambivalent during the post-legislation era, indicating endogenous contradictions of the Charity Law. In order to explore the legislative logic of Chinese Charity Law on public fundraising regulation, this paper, employing an analytical framework of state-society relations, historically examines all relevant laws and policies of China that deal with the fundraising regulation issue since the reform and opening-up. It is revealed that a “control thinking” of the Chinese state towards civic fundraising has been dominating the field all the way, and that the recent loosening of state control was compelled by bottom-up social dynamics. The paper argues that, under the constant influence of state control thinking, the institutional adjustments of Chinese Charity Law on opening spaces for civic fundraising tend to be quite passive and endogenously contradictory, leading to both validity and limitations of the law in practice.