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Philip C. C. Huang

This article is based on the introduction-summary of the author’s new book awaiting publication. It deals mainly with the realities of China’s “informal economy” (understood as laboring people with little or no legal protection), to be distinguished from misleading and obfuscating “mainstream” theory’s construction and discourse about them. The working people of the “informal economy” today come mainly from the “half cultivator half worker” peasant families, and with them, make up a distinctive social formation that is very different from the expectations of both neoclassical economics and Marxist political economy. It cannot be understood in terms of the conventional categories of “mainstream” theory and needs new conceptualization and theory to grasp. The “informal economy’s” latest manifestation is the rapid spread of “dispatch workers,” who need also to be understood in terms of new theoretical concepts.


Christian Henriot, Lu SHI and Charlotte Aubrun

The present volume is the first systematic reconstruction of the demographic series of the population of Shanghai from the mid-nineteenth century to 1953. Designed as a reference and source book, it is based on a thorough exploration of all population data and surveys available in published documents and in archival sources. The book focuses mostly on the pre-1949 period and extends to the post-1949 period only in relation to specific topics. Shanghai is probably the only city in China where such a reconstruction is possible over such a long period due to the wealth of sources and its particular administrative history, especially the existence of two foreign settlements.


Jane Kate Leonard

In a new study of the Qing government’s 1826 experiment in sea transport of government grain in response to the collapse of the Grand Canal (1825), Jane Kate Leonard highlights how the Daoguang Emperor, together with Yinghe, his chief fiscal adviser, and Qishan, Governor-General of Liangjiang, devised and implemented this innovative plan by temporarily stretching the Qing bureaucracy to include local “assistant” officials and ad hoc bureaus ( ju) and by recruiting ( zhaoshang) private organizations, such as merchant shippers, dockside porters, and lighterage fleets. This is significant because it explains how the Qing leadership was able to respond successfully to crises and change without permanently expanding the reach and expense of the permanent bureaucracy.

African Countries and the Global Scramble for China

A Contribution to Africa’s Preparedness and Rehearsal


Ngonlardje Kabra Mbaidjol

In this new book on Africa-China relations, Ngonlardje Kabra Mbaidjol strongly engages in the heated debates on African cooperation with China, an increassingly rich and powerful partner. The current dominant view highlights the neo-colonial and exploitative nature of these relations with a denial of any positive results for African people. However, the growing China-Africa partnership took its roots at Bandung 1955 conference, to culminate with an overt competition between China and other nations over African resources. For many, "a new scramble for Africa" emerges. The author argues there is rather a "global scramble for China," a fierce battle to get the PRC's kind attention. Africa is right to engage the struggle to access China's development funding. Africa may wish to avoid being distracted by rival voices, but to endeavor doing its own homework and rehearse for the global competiton, in the only interest of African people. Mbaidjol's book unpacks Africa's preparedness and rehearsal strategy.

Chinese and African Entrepreneurs

Social Impacts of Interpersonal Encounters

Edited by Karsten Giese and Laurence Marfaing

This book offers in-depth accounts of encounters between Chinese and African social and economic actors that have been increasing rapidly since the early 2000s. With a clear focus on social changes, be it quotidian behaviour or specific practices, the authors employ multi-disciplinary approaches in analysing the various impacts that the intensifying interaction between Chinese and Africans in their roles as ethnic and cultural others, entrepreneurial migrants, traders, employers, employees etc. have on local developments and transformations within the host societies, be they on the African continent or in China. The dynamics of social change addressed in case studies cover processes of social mobility through migration, adaptation of business practices, changing social norms, consumption patterns, labour relations and mutual perceptions, cultural brokerage, exclusion and inclusion, gendered experiences, and powerful imaginations of China.

Contributors are Karsten Giese, Guive Khan Mohammad, Katy Lam, Ben Lampert, Kelly Si Miao Liang, Laurence Marfaing, Gordon Mathews, Giles Mohan, Amy Niang, Yoon Jung Park, Alena Thiel, Naima Topkiran.

Shulin Zhou and Chienliang Kuo


How nonprofit organizations (NPO) utilize social media to engage in advocacy work is regarded as one of the most important challenges in the digital economy era. However, although current studies pay their attention to how NPO react to the prevalence of social media, less focus is paid on how social media help to shape NPO’s practices on advocacy work. To help close the gap between theory and practice, this research explores whether the alignment between NPO’s advocacy practices and features of social media determine the NPO’s usage on social media. In particular, how the crowdfunding platform, an emerging and powerful form of social media, is used by NPO is investigated. Those crowdfunding projects initiated by NPO in FlyingV, the most well-known crowdfunding platform in Taiwan, are taken as the data source for analysis in this paper. The findings reveal that crowdfunding platforms are beneficial to NPO in turns of gaining resources and attracting participants, which then fostering the realization of advocacy activities. As well, the efficiency of crowdfunded projects (or advocacy proposals) is mainly determined by the number of participants (or sponsors). However, based on the findings, it is argued that NPO so far have not realized the power of crowdfunding platforms, thus not yet regarding crowdfunding platforms as key social media or strategic weapons in strengthening their impact or contribution on advocacy work relevant to their missions.

Zehua Yan


In the China-specific dual management system of social organizations, competent government department’s support for and supervision over industrial associations affect and even determine their political engagement and policy advocacy. By analyzing the technological incubator association in the city of T, this paper finds that when local government departments have overlapping duties and interests, the industrial association, if it can help the disadvantaged department increase the chips for the power and resource game, can receive more attention, support and policy discourse power from that department. Besides, in the local government’s management model, a big enterprise with scale and resource advantages has more chances to communicate and interact with the government department that’s superior to the one in charge of the industrial association, so the industrial association in which this big enterprise is a member can get more attention and support from the competent department, making it more effective in policy advocacy.

Shuoyan Li


How non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China overcome external control from the state and advocate their mission under the dual-management system? While studies on the bargaining between NGOs and the competent authority mostly emphasize the use of persona connections at individual level, little research focuses on the strategy of how NGOs use institutional factors. This article argues that NGOs could get rid of the external control by creating new institutional links with the government, which provides NGOs more opportunities in advocacy. Based on an in-depth case study, this article takes an environmental NGO in H City of Z Province as an example to illustrate how the organization develops relationships with a new authority. This new institutional link helps the NGO to reduce its dependence on the single authority and enhance its autonomy. The changed power structure ultimately enables the NGO to expand its space for advocacy.

Wenjuan Zhang


While globalization creates an ambitious space for NGOs to play a large role in policy-making and problem-solving the concern about their accountability always remains there. As the biggest developing countries, India and China have attracted lots of international aid and INGOs’ attention. Recently, both have taken serious efforts to regulate or even to control INGOs’ influence in domestic context despite the difference of their political systems. It is worthy of comparative analysis in a nuanced way on their similarities and differences of why and how to regulate. As a reflection, it is also a good moment for relevant stakeholders to re-imagine the global governance and their relevant role.

Xinyao Zheng and Zongchao Peng


The number of non-governmental organizations in Egypt continued to grow before 2011. The middle class became the main participants in the political movement against Mubarak regime in 2011. However, it could not be attributed to the mobilization by non-governmental organizations. Based on regression analysis results of the questionnaire survey conducted by Arab Barometer in 2011, NGOs’ mobilization of their middle-class members was almost ineffective. As for the underclass, only the charitable organizations had a strong mobilization effect. From the two aspects of consensus mobilization and action mobilization, the paper explains the reasons why non-governmental organizations failed to mobilize their middle-class members and the specific mechanism for charitable organizations to mobilize their underclass members. Egypt’s experience shows that NGOs do not necessarily act as the main driving force of political resistance, which depends on NGOs’ capability of mobilizing their members for consensus and action, and for different social classes, the mobilization effects show great differences.