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Fare Thee Well, Chinese Civil Society?

CollectionsANU Australian Centre on China in the World / 中华全球研究中心/中華全球研究中心
Made in China (2016 - )
Title: Fare Thee Well, Chinese Civil Society?
Author(s): Australian National University. Australian Centre on China in the World
Date published: 2017
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian Centre on China in the World, The Australian National University
Series/Report no.: Made in China : Issue 1 (January - March 2017)
For many years now, Chinese civil society has been the focus of considerable expectations for scholars, journalists, and politicians all over the world. There has been great eagerness to salute every small victory by Chinese NGOs and activists over the powerful party-state as evidence that the authoritarian tide was finally receding in China, and that grassroots forces were stepping up to take a new role in Chinese politics and society. In light of these high hopes, it is not surprising that the recent troubling news coming from China has been acutely disappointing and has dampened people's enthusiasm. With the arrest of yet another activist, the airing of yet another public confession, the closure of yet another NGO working for the weak and disenfranchised, and the passing of yet another repressive law, the world has come to view Chinese civil society as if it were on its deathbed. For sure, an idea of Chinese civil society is ailing. But, if we consider the swiftness with which the party-state has tamed these forces (at least for the time being), was this civil society ever there in first place? Or were we simply projecting our hopes onto a handful of Chinese grassroots organisations and activis ts? While we mourn the death of an ideal, it is imperative that we overcome our sorrow to look at the momentous changes that are currently taking place in the realm of Chinese civil society. In this issue of Made in China, we offer a series of perspectives on these developments.
ISSN: 2206-9119


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