A Start for Mild Liberalization? Building Civil Society through Co-operative Dynamics in China
AbstractThis paper aims to understand the society-state relationship in China, by exploring this dynamics with other types of organizations, i.e. civil society organizations with economic objectives. The dynamics of co-operatives can influence and interact with civil society dynamics. In this sense, this paper presents the evolution of civil society in China by identifying the causal mechanisms of co-operatives’ development and the conditions needed for them to develop. This causal mechanisms are set within the context of one historical process evolving with path dependency. Using this theoretical framework, it further presents the empirical observation. The findings of the paper are that economic development shaped the new co-operative movement in China; this process was different from the former revolutionary communalist co-operative movement; like their counterparts from the liberal democratic tradition, new co-operatives participated in the market economy, developed in an evolutionary and peaceful way, had great respect for private property and especially, were self-motivated and voluntary in nature. The co-operative movement in China can thus be considered as a mild liberalization within civil society’s sphere. Furthermore, its spillover effect would be seen as the effect of enhancing the role of civil society as a critical dialogue partner with the state. The originality lies in its systematic analysis examining the conditions that underpin this dynamics, thus filling the academic gaps in the study of society-state relationship in another way different from the popularly-used perspective which examines the voluntary and non-profit nature of civil society organizations and excludes the economic spheres within civil society.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, HIVA, Cera Centre for Co-operative Entrepreneurship in its series Working Papers on Social and Co-operative Entrepreneurship with number 0904.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
civil society dynamics; new co-operative movement; China; path dependency;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs
- N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
- N55 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Asia including Middle East
- O19 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
- P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
- P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
- P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-08-22 (Development)
- NEP-SOC-2009-08-22 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-TRA-2009-08-22 (Transition Economics)
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