#27 – The Civil Factor: NGOs in China

event #27
June 06,  2013

Prof. Dr. ZHANG Changdong 张长东
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies, Peking University

In the last three decades, with rapid economic growth and government reform, the emergence of Non-government Organizations (NGO) from near zero to tens of millions is a phenomenon which is called an “association revolution” by some scholars. Prof. Zhang will give a short overview of the history of NGOs in China, in what areas they are active , in what areas they thrive, and where they run into obstacles.

How independent are NGOs? What political impact are they to bring to China? When can NGOs affect government policy in a strong authoritarian party-state like China?

Prof. Zhang uses a set of data from two rounds of surveys conducted in Beijing, Zhejiang and Heilongjiang in 2000 and 2010. Based on literature on interest groups, state–society relations, and civil society, he tests three hypotheses: 1) the government guide hypothesis, 2) the NGO resource hypothesis, and 3) the vertical network hypothesis. Prof. Zhang will present the findings of his research to answer the above questions.

Speaker Biography

Professor Dr. ZHANG Changdong is Assistant Professor of the Department of Political Science at Peking University. Before transfering to Beida in 2012, he was an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. of Political Science from the University of Washington, Seattle (2011). He holds an M.A. degree in Political Science from Peking University (2008) and a B.A.degree of Economics from Beijing Technology & Business University (2004).

His research interests include state-society relations, institutionalism and institutional change, local governance in China, and methodology.

His co-authored paper (with Chris Heurlin), “Power and Rule by Law in Rural China: Mediation and Legal Mobilization in Land Disputes”, has been selected as a book chapter for Fu, Hualing and John Gillespie (eds), Land Dispute in East Asia, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. Besides, there are several working papers on China’s civil society, state-business relations, and local people’s congress, under review.

Dr. Zhang has translated two books including Calvert, Peter. 1990. Revolution & Counter-revolution. University of Minnesota Press. Jilin People’s Press, 2005; and Migdal, Joel. 1988. Strong Societies and Weak States. Princeton University Press. Into Chinese. Jiangsu People’s Press, 2009.