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POLI 422 - Yang: Environmental NGOs and Institutional Dynamics in China

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Political Science
POLI 422
Juan Wang

YangEnvironmental NGOs and Institutional Dynamics in ChinaDespite the challenges faced by environmental NGOs they have carved out a field of existence in Chinas social terrain Argument emergence of ENGOs is a response to political conditions and currents in mass media internet and international NGOs Key actors organizational entrepreneurs that mobilize resources individuals in search of selffulfilment or social experience A Field PerspectiveThe state and the market are often the two identified causal factors of civil society development in China Often it is argued that marketization has led to a separation of state and society opening up spaces for civil society which is facilitated by decentralization of the state However these explanations cannot account for how civil society growth actually occurs or how other fields shape these processes A field perspective builds on prior organizationlevel studies to capture the NGO rise in interactions with the multiple other fields Fieldpatterned system of objective forces a relational configuration endowed with a specific gravity which it imposes on all the objects and agents which enter it situations where organized groups of actors gather and frame their actions visavis one anotherEx politics economy art academiaThus a field approach stresses the unequal relations between various fields and their mutual interactionThe most important actors in this view are the leaders of organized groups organizational entrepreneurs Chinese ENGOs re largely subordinate to the political field although they do have allies in mass media INGOs and via the internet Within these organizational entrepreneurs mobilize resources while young college students join in search of social experience and selffulfilment Chinese ENGO development accelerated within the mid1990s In 1994 there were 9 by 2001 there were nearly 150 in total
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