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Navigation, Circumvention and Brokerage: The Tricks of the Trade of Developing NGOs in China

  • Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr (a1)

Chinese NGOs face strong coercive pressures and limitations yet have still emerged as notable actors in several issue areas. This article studies why and explains how a group of NGOs working on AIDS-related issues have been able to progress into relatively large and vibrant operations. It documents how NGO leaders have learned to navigate opportunities and risks, circumvent formal restrictions and broker pragmatic and largely informal arrangements that have enabled their organizations to grow and advance within China's authoritarian settings. The article contributes to the literature on Chinese NGO development and new institutionalism theory, and introduces a framework for studying NGOs based on their organizational forms and activities.


中国的非政府组织面临着强大的管控压力和限制, 但它们在一些领域仍然承担着重要角色。本文研究并解释了为什么一些参与艾滋病项目的非政府组织能够取得相对快速的发展并充满活力。研究阐释了在中国威权主义的背景下, 非政府组织领导者如何学会通过辨别机会和风险、规避正式限制, 并设法以务实的且主要是非正式的安排使他们的组织取得进步和发展。本研究不仅有助于丰富对中国非政府组织发展的研究和新制度主义理论, 而且建立了一个基于组织形式和活动研究非政府组织的研究框架。

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Hans Jørgen Gåsemyr . 2015. “Twenty years of mobilising around AIDS in China: the main actors and influences behind organisational growth.” Asian Studies Review 39(4), 609627.

Peter A. Hall , and Rosemary C.R. Taylor . 1996. “Political science and the three new institutionalisms.” Political Studies 44(5), 936957.

Reza Hasmath , and Jennifer Y.J. Hsu . 2014. “Isomorphic pressures, epistemic communities and state–NGO collaboration in China.” The China Quarterly 220, 936954.

Alex Jingwei He , and Genghua Huang . 2015. “Fighting for migrant labor rights in the world's factory: legitimacy, resource constraints and strategies of grassroots migrant labor NGOs in South China.” Journal of Contemporary China 24(93), 471492.

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Jianping Sun , Hui Liu , Hui Li , Liqiu Wang , Haoyan Guo , Duo Shan , Marc Bulterys , 2010. “Contributions of international cooperation projects to the HIV/AIDS response in China.” International Journal of Epidemiology 39, ii14ii20.

Jonathan Tam , and Reza Hasmath . 2015. “Nagivating uncertainty: the survival strategies of religious NGOs in China.” Journal of Civil Society 11(3), 283299.

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Guobin Yang . 2005. “Environmental NGOs and institutional dynamics in China.” The China Quarterly 181, 4666.

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The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
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