Civil Society under Authoritarianism: The China Model

Civil Society under Authoritarianism: The China Model

by Jessica C. Teets

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Overview

Despite the dominant narrative of the repression of civil society in China, Civil Society Under Authoritarianism: The China Model argues that interactions between local officials and civil society facilitate a learning process, whereby each actor learns about the intentions and work processes of the other. Over the past two decades, often facilitated by foreign donors and problems within the general social framework, these interactions generated a process in which officials learned the benefits and disadvantages of civil society. Civil society supports local officials' efforts to provide social services and improve public policies, yet it also engages in protest and other activities that challenge social stability and development. This duality motivates local officials in China to construct a "social management" system - known as consultative authoritarianism - to encourage the beneficial aspects and discourage the dangerous ones. Although civil society has not democratized China, such organizations have facilitated greater dialogue between citizens and state as part of politics in an authoritarian system that normally lacks such channels for participation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781316507919
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/23/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 5.43(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Jessica C. Teets is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department and Jeanne Epp Barksdale '48 Junior Faculty Fellow at Middlebury College, Vermont. Her research focuses on governance in authoritarian regimes - specifically the role of civil society such as non-profits, NGOs, and associations - with an emphasis on Chinese politics. She is the author, most recently, of 'Let Many Civil Societies Bloom: The Rise of Consultative Authoritarianism in China' (The China Quarterly, 2013) and 'Reforming Service Delivery in China: The Emergence of a Social Innovation Model' (Journal of Chinese Political Science, 2012). Dr Teets was recently selected to participate in the Public Intellectuals Program created by the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Civil society in China: better governance under authoritarianism; 1. Policy learning in China: constructing consultative authoritarianism; 2. Let many civil societies bloom: building consultative authoritarianism in Beijing and Yunnan; 3. Converging on consultative authoritarianism: civil society development in Jiangsu and Sichuan; 4. Civil society strategies in China: creating opportunities for learning; Conclusion. Illiberal wave: the international diffusion of consultative authoritarianism.

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