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NGOs and Civil Society: The Politics of Crafting a Civic Welfare Infrastructure in the Hu–Wen Period

  • Jude Howell (a1)

Since 2015 rights-based NGOs, lawyers, feminists and journalists have endured the most stringent crackdown since 1989. Simultaneously the Xi Li administration has pushed forward a series of laws, policies and regulatory changes to enable service-oriented NGOs to apply for government contracts to provide welfare services. This seemingly Janus-like policy of welfarist incorporation can be traced back to the Hu–Wen period, often described as a lacklustre period, despite significant efforts to tackle issues of poverty and inequality. This article argues for a more balanced appraisal of this period by exploring in depth the complex politics underpinning efforts to pluralize welfare provision by involving service-oriented NGOs. It explores three sets of politics influencing this policy process: inter-institutional politics; state/non-state actor politics; and domestic/external politics. Furthermore, it considers processes of gradual institutional change adopted by key political actors to achieve these ends.

自 2015 年以来,维权性的非政府组织、律师、女权主义者和新闻工作者正经历着自 1989 年以来最严厉的官方压制。与此同时,习李政府也推动了一系列的法律、政策和新规使服务导向的非政府组织能够通过申请政府合同的方式提供福利服务。这种看似矛盾的“福利性吸纳”政策可以追溯到胡温时期。尽管胡温时期曾致力于解决贫困和不平等,但这一时期仍然被视为一个沉闷低迷的时代。通过吸收服务性非政府组织来实现福利供给多元化是一种复杂的政治基础性活动。通过深入考察这一活动,本文认为,对胡温时期需要给与更加全面的评估。本文考察了三类影响这一政策过程的政治活动: 跨组织政治活动; 国家行动者与非国家行动者的政治活动; 国内与国外的政治活动。另外,本文还探讨了主要政治行动者为达成其目的所采纳的渐进式制度变迁的过程。

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