Dynamics of Philanthropy in China: Patterns of Negotiations and Collaboration in Shenzhen and Yunnan

University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för öst- och sydöstasienstudier

Abstract: The relations between the Chinese government and philanthropic organizations is complex and in a state of flux and rapid change. The fragmented nature of Chinese politics and local autonomy further contribute to the regional variations of philanthropy. The author examines two representative models of cooperation between government and philanthropic organizations in Yunnan and Shenzhen to explore different patterns and trends of philanthropy development in China. By employing a state-in-society approach and a typology of government-non-profit relations, the actors involved in two cases are disaggregated to analyze their roles and power relations in collaboration. Overall, philanthropy is promoted by the government to boost legitimacy. More space is opened up for private philanthropic organizations while the government maintains dominance and sophisticated control. Although new models of government-philanthropy relations are promoted, conventional ones also remain popular. The landscape of Chinese philanthropy is shaped in the interactions of the state and philanthropic organizations. But it is still unclear whether a state-led philanthropy can further the development of civil society.

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