Negotiating service activism in China : the impact of NGOs’ institutional embeddedness in the local state

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The rise of government procurement has transformed the associational landscape in China. In many localities, local states have launched procurement programs to collaborate with NGOs, which in turn provide social services to community residents. While it has been argued that government funding shapes NGOs into compliant service providers, this article contends that state-funded NGOs are able to engage in advocacy through service delivery, a strategy known as ‘service activism’. By examining three NGOs in Guangdong Province, this article argues that NGOs’ success in service activism is determined by their degree of institutional embeddedness in the local state and the nature of their advocacy strategies. While both strongly or weakly embedded relationships can weaken the impact of advocacy, progressive strategies in sensitive issue areas can weaken collaboration and draw repression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-422
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Volume27
Issue number111
Early online date15 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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nongovernmental organization
non-governmental organization
advocacy
China
repression
mobile social services
service provider
funding
services
resident
community

Cite this

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title = "Negotiating service activism in China : the impact of NGOs’ institutional embeddedness in the local state",
abstract = "The rise of government procurement has transformed the associational landscape in China. In many localities, local states have launched procurement programs to collaborate with NGOs, which in turn provide social services to community residents. While it has been argued that government funding shapes NGOs into compliant service providers, this article contends that state-funded NGOs are able to engage in advocacy through service delivery, a strategy known as ‘service activism’. By examining three NGOs in Guangdong Province, this article argues that NGOs’ success in service activism is determined by their degree of institutional embeddedness in the local state and the nature of their advocacy strategies. While both strongly or weakly embedded relationships can weaken the impact of advocacy, progressive strategies in sensitive issue areas can weaken collaboration and draw repression.",
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Negotiating service activism in China : the impact of NGOs’ institutional embeddedness in the local state. / YUEN, Wai Hei, Samson.

In: Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 27, No. 111, 2018, p. 406-422.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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AB - The rise of government procurement has transformed the associational landscape in China. In many localities, local states have launched procurement programs to collaborate with NGOs, which in turn provide social services to community residents. While it has been argued that government funding shapes NGOs into compliant service providers, this article contends that state-funded NGOs are able to engage in advocacy through service delivery, a strategy known as ‘service activism’. By examining three NGOs in Guangdong Province, this article argues that NGOs’ success in service activism is determined by their degree of institutional embeddedness in the local state and the nature of their advocacy strategies. While both strongly or weakly embedded relationships can weaken the impact of advocacy, progressive strategies in sensitive issue areas can weaken collaboration and draw repression.

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