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Civil Society without Democracy? NGO Development in China

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
4:00 PM
11377 Bunche Hall

In this talk, Timothy Hildebrandt discusses his new book, which examines the development of NGOs in China. The book offers a cross-regional, multi-case study examination of NGOs in three different areas: environmental protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, and gay and lesbian rights. By carefully breaking apart and analyzing the opportunity structure facing Chinese social organizations, the book demonstrates how NGOs must adapt activities to match the changing interests of local governments. Its comparative approach also provides for important insights into variation across locale and issue area. The book ultimately shows how social organizations paradoxically strengthen, rather than weaken, the authoritarian regime in China. In this talk, he will also look toward to future of NGOs in China, discussing how new political and economic limitations are beginning to force these organizations to either adapt or die. The changing forms of Chinese NGOs are looking less like traditional nonprofits and more like businesses. 

Dr. Timothy Hildebrandt is currently Lecturer in Chinese Politics at King’s College London; in September 2013 he will join the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on the changing state–society relationship in China, NGO development in authoritarian polities, the linkages between activism and social entrepreneurship, the political economy of social exclusion, and emerging LGBT rights and activism in the non-Western world. He is the author of Social Organizations and the Authoritarian State in China (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and his research has appeared in numerous journals including The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Review of International Studies, and Foreign Policy Analysis. Previously he was a fellow in the US–China Institute at USC and the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville. Prior to completing his PhD in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he served as managing editor of the China Environment Series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies

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