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postgraduate thesis: Child welfare NGOs in China : implications for state-society relations

TitleChild welfare NGOs in China : implications for state-society relations
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chui, H. C. [徐曉君]. (2014). Child welfare NGOs in China : implications for state-society relations. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5312341
AbstractThe civil society perspective and the corporatist perspective have thus far dominated studies on state-society relations in the Chinese context. While these paradigms are insightful, their unidirectional and rigid natures may no longer adequately describe the complex nature of evolving state-society relations in China. As such, Joel S. Migdal’s State-in-Society framework is adopted as the theoretical premise of this study. Allowing for more fluidity, the State-in-Society theory serves as an alternative approach towards examining interactions between the state and nonprofits and between the state and society. The concept of social control within the framework is examined in further detail. Descriptive multiple case study was used as a method of inquiry, followed by thematic analysis. Findings generally corroborate with the logic of social control, with compliance, participation and legitimacy being the incremental stages with which both nonprofits and the state seek to attain from each other and from the public. It was found that the state employ strategies including co-optation, procedural validation and hijacking scholarship to gain participation whereas moral reinforcement, rhetoric validation, and image consolidation are used to attain legitimacy. Ironically, nonprofits employ similar strategies in an attempt to change the state’s behaviour. Vilification and shaming are used to gain compliance, while resource appropriation and preemptive engagement are employed to attain participation. Moral reinforcement, image consolidation, individual credibility and persistence were found to be critical factors in bolstering organizational legitimacy. Furthermore, findings generally support the claim that nonprofits operating in rural areas enjoy greater autonomy than those active in urban areas. Even so, state-society relations is highly localized and therefore overgeneralization should be avoided. In addition to contributing to the discourse on state-society relations, this study seeks to identify the role of nongovernmental organizations in orphan care provision in China. Along with content analysis and field observations, 10 in-depth cases are presented to illustrate existing obstacles pertaining to orphan care provision. Identified barriers are subsequently compartmentalized into five main categories: knowledge level, policy level, cultural level, organizational level, and state-NGO relations. Given the distinct welfare system extant between rural and urban areas, findings indicate that orphans in rural areas are disproportionately disadvantaged compared to those residing in cities. This may be due to the relatively weak economic and human resources that often characterize rural China. One important observation is the growing tendency for local governments to regard nongovernmental organizations as critical service partners. However, the sustainability of this service model is questionable, especially when the state claims to carry primary responsibility over citizen welfare. The legal ambiguity concerning the registration and governance of nonprofits also jeopardizes future undertakings. Nevertheless, it is strategically and rationally sensible for local governments to ally with nonprofits insofar as there are deficiencies in the former’s capacity to deliver social services for disadvantaged children. This study concludes by discussing policy implications on China’s third sector and social development.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectNon-governmental organizations - China
Child welfare - China
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206334

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChui, Hiu-kwan, Cheryl-
dc.contributor.author徐曉君-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-23T23:14:27Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-23T23:14:27Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationChui, H. C. [徐曉君]. (2014). Child welfare NGOs in China : implications for state-society relations. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5312341-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206334-
dc.description.abstractThe civil society perspective and the corporatist perspective have thus far dominated studies on state-society relations in the Chinese context. While these paradigms are insightful, their unidirectional and rigid natures may no longer adequately describe the complex nature of evolving state-society relations in China. As such, Joel S. Migdal’s State-in-Society framework is adopted as the theoretical premise of this study. Allowing for more fluidity, the State-in-Society theory serves as an alternative approach towards examining interactions between the state and nonprofits and between the state and society. The concept of social control within the framework is examined in further detail. Descriptive multiple case study was used as a method of inquiry, followed by thematic analysis. Findings generally corroborate with the logic of social control, with compliance, participation and legitimacy being the incremental stages with which both nonprofits and the state seek to attain from each other and from the public. It was found that the state employ strategies including co-optation, procedural validation and hijacking scholarship to gain participation whereas moral reinforcement, rhetoric validation, and image consolidation are used to attain legitimacy. Ironically, nonprofits employ similar strategies in an attempt to change the state’s behaviour. Vilification and shaming are used to gain compliance, while resource appropriation and preemptive engagement are employed to attain participation. Moral reinforcement, image consolidation, individual credibility and persistence were found to be critical factors in bolstering organizational legitimacy. Furthermore, findings generally support the claim that nonprofits operating in rural areas enjoy greater autonomy than those active in urban areas. Even so, state-society relations is highly localized and therefore overgeneralization should be avoided. In addition to contributing to the discourse on state-society relations, this study seeks to identify the role of nongovernmental organizations in orphan care provision in China. Along with content analysis and field observations, 10 in-depth cases are presented to illustrate existing obstacles pertaining to orphan care provision. Identified barriers are subsequently compartmentalized into five main categories: knowledge level, policy level, cultural level, organizational level, and state-NGO relations. Given the distinct welfare system extant between rural and urban areas, findings indicate that orphans in rural areas are disproportionately disadvantaged compared to those residing in cities. This may be due to the relatively weak economic and human resources that often characterize rural China. One important observation is the growing tendency for local governments to regard nongovernmental organizations as critical service partners. However, the sustainability of this service model is questionable, especially when the state claims to carry primary responsibility over citizen welfare. The legal ambiguity concerning the registration and governance of nonprofits also jeopardizes future undertakings. Nevertheless, it is strategically and rationally sensible for local governments to ally with nonprofits insofar as there are deficiencies in the former’s capacity to deliver social services for disadvantaged children. This study concludes by discussing policy implications on China’s third sector and social development.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshNon-governmental organizations - China-
dc.subject.lcshChild welfare - China-
dc.titleChild welfare NGOs in China : implications for state-society relations-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5312341-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5312341-

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