There will be no assigned topics; instead, you will use your own discretion in selecting paper topics, so long as they respond to the readings in some way. Your essay may be explanatory (focusing on some aspect of Chinese politics and policy making); theoretical (focusing on the utility of one or more approaches to the study of Chinese politics); or policy-specific (focusing on a specific policy or set of policies, the context in with it was adopted, its consequences, its lessons or legacies, etc.)
your paper should start with a strong intro paragraph. I should know by the end of the first paragraph what the paper is about, and what your key argument is.
you paper should have an original argument, not just a descriptive summary of the readings. After doing the readings, what is YOUR perspective on the issues under discussion?
A good paper should do the following things:
• it may compare and contrast several of the readings, or provide an in-depth critique of just one of the readings. Your papers do not have to cover all the readings in a particular week, but should address main themes.
• it should analyze and critique the readings, not simply summarize them. Your paper should make an argument and convey a point of view. You should provide your own analysis of the events or issues discussed in the readings, or provide an alternative argument not offered in the readings.
• it should give credit where credit is due: always cite your sources of information. This includes facts and figures, direct quotes, and paraphrased wording.
• it must be double spaced, use 12 point font, and be no more than five pages long.
Evaluation of the role of social organizations in state-society relationships
The maintenance of relationships with the society is a pertinent issue for any government. Ensuring inclusive and equity in governance becomes an indispensable aspect. The governance of China has seen dark parts of poor relationships with its people. The government has implemented several policies that enabled the cooperation between the state and the social organizations. The social organizations have a significant role in connecting the state and the society and in enhancing their relationship.
In cementing the relationship with people, the Chinese Communist Party allowed the formation of social organizations that have great autonomy from its structure. Social organizations “bridge gaps in China’s fragmented administrative structure” (Thornton, The Advance of the Party).They bring into consideration the social interests during the process of formulating policies and advocating for reforms. They are a representation of the interests and the needs of the members. The government appears to exact control in the social organizations ensuring a rather symbiotic relationship. However, social organizations find a way to “influence the policy-making process or to pursue the interests of their members.” (Saich, Negotiating the state). Consequently, social organizations can promote for reforms through their exploitation of their membership number that ‘reflects their power.’ The social organization ensures that people are adequately involved in major decisions and activities of the government through such activities.
Government struggle to control unrest of the people has seen the rise of reform dating back to 1990’s “in response to the specific problems they faced.” (Wang and Carl, The Rise of the Chinese Security State Social organizations). The social organization’s “Party authorities established specialized offices to deal with emerging concerns.” (Wang and Carl, The Rise of the Chinese Security State Social organizations). Initiation of reforms allowed for dealing with organizations that were heretical through anti-cult departments. The aftermath has been escalated reforms that the government previously avoided. The inclusion of organizations marked the epitome of the difficulty of the government to control the society due to the intensive unrests through the adoption of “new governance models that differed dramatically from those of the 1980s.” (Wang and Carl, The Rise of the Chinese Security State Social organizations). The government had to involve the society in major decisions and respond positively to the social unrests that emerged during that time. The government had to adopt new ways of implementing project development. The Chinese government had a crucial responsibility of responding to the needs of social stability. Wang and Carl (p. 347) explain that the increasing social unrest is a force generated from the communist rule. There is increased demand for the government to respond to people’s needs. Achieving such response requires the establishment of policies that necessitate discussions between the government and society.
The Government of China expanded the ability of the social organization to reach to party political-legal apparatus (Wang & Carl, p. 340). The policies are implemented according to the needs of the society by “allowing the Party to shape social policy by legitimating the interests, scope and mode of political participation of NGOs, supporting their provision of public services, and ensuring that they continue to meet genuine social needs.” (Thornton, The Advance of the Party discussion). Social organizations pressurize the government to meet their demands through the exploitation of the of such political-legal apparatus. Other nations require the political powers to develop policies and manifestos. The parties vow to implement the manifestos and policies after they get into power. Nevertheless, in the Chinese politics conflicting policy preferences are not revealed. The party members are required to refrain from the views that are against the decisions made by the Communist Party. The party does not reveal any ideologies or any policies to be implemented. The matters of the ideologies remain the secretive matters of the party. Therefore, the Congress contestants cannot be involved in any competition related to the ideologies or policies.
The absorption of social organizations by the government has allowed them to shape social policies and hence stimulate the government to work in the best interest of the community (Thorton, p. 6). The increased number of the social organizations has gained the power to negotiate with the government the application and the necessity of policies. The government has significantly encouraged the autonomy of the social organizations and rather has promoted their absorption in the government. It is factual that China has a huge number of social organizations that have gained collective power to exert control on the government (Saich, p. 126; Teets, p. 22). In the 1980s, the government enacted measures intended to make social organization dependent on the state. Nevertheless, the government is currently enhancing its relationship with the society by involving it in decision-making processes.
Thorton (p. 4) noted that there was an immense misunderstanding of the relationship between the government and the civil societies. The theory that was unfolding at that time explained that the government had exerted huge control on the civil society. However, Thorton observes a contradiction in this theory. The policy implementers use Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the participation spaces created by the authoritarian government. There is increased formation of NGOs in China. These NGOs have a crucial role in assisting in the developments. They safeguard the social stability, bridge leadership gap and help the government reduce the cost of governing. Crucially, the formation of the Party-organized non-governmental organizations (PONGOs) has enhanced social-state independent interactions. Local committees run the PONGOs with their registration initiated locally. They crucially support the governance through patriotism education, sponsoring community events and enhancing the people support on the leadership (Thorton, p. 10). The role of social organizations includes “encouraging public–private partnerships, social entrepreneurship and branding corporate sponsorship of charity and community events, frequently combining such efforts with patriotic education and the mobilization of public demonstrations of support for Party rule.” (Thornton, The Advance of the Party).
Independent social organizations were formed and operated in agreement with the provisions of the law significantly maintains peace and the unity among the China people. The social organizations united the young people, workers, women, and other at a national level. For instance, All-China Federation of Trade Unions is a social organization uniting all the members belonging to other local trade unions in China. The members of the organizations are united towards attaining certain specific goals and needs. The All-China Women’s Federation was founded to protect the rights and the interests of the women such as education rights, political rights, property rights, and marriage rights among others. The interaction between the government and the legislature led to the passage of a law that protected interests and rights of the women. The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) enhances the relationship between the people of China and friends in other countries. With CPAFFC, tourism is China is improved since people from other countries have a positive attitude toward China.
At the time when China promoted the formation of the social organizations, the world witnessed the provoking affiliation between the government and the civil society. Many of the civil societies in the world had opposed the leadership of the authoritarian governments. Nevertheless, the contradictory ideas between the government and the civil societies served to generate new relationships. Teets (p. 21) called the new relationships between the government and civil societies the collaborative authoritarianism. Teets explains that this type of authoritarianism resulted from “cadre’s idea of a collaborative relationship with the civil society.” (Teets, Let many civil societies bloom). There is an argument that civil societies presence indicates democratization. Nevertheless, the formation of the civil societies in China does not mark the onset of the democratization. It serves to promote better governance and the satisfaction of the citizens under the regime of the authoritarian government (Teets, p. 21).
The Chinese government reforms introduced in the 1990s has enhanced a close relationship with the government while promoting the development of policies relevant to the people’s well-being. The major development includes the social organization that enhances the control of the government. They have the power to negotiate with the government on the needs of their members. The leaders cannot be involved in the competitive ideological politics since the China Communist Party restricts them. The leaders act as the delegates for the people. They are always determined to ensure equitable distribution of public goods. The China Communists Party has rejected competition of political ideologies, but the social organizations ensure the control. The control attained by the use of the social organizations makes the China among the most peaceful countries as well as among the super powers despite having an authoritarian system of government.
Saich, Tony. “Negotiating the state: The development of social organizations in China.” The China Quarterly 161 (2000): 124-141.
Teets, Jessica C. “Let many civil societies bloom: The rise of consultative authoritarianism in China.” The China Quarterly 213 (2013): 19-38.
Thornton, Patricia M. “The Advance of the Party: Transformation or Takeover of Urban Grassroots Society?.” The China Quarterly 213 (2013): 1-18.
Wang, Yuhua, and Carl Minzner. “The Rise of the Chinese Security State.” The China Quarterly (2015): 1-21.