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Civil Society Networks in China and Vietnam
 
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Civil Society Networks in China and Vietnam
Informal Pathbreakers in Health and the Environment
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
31 Jul 2012
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£60.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230380202
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Non-democratic states such as China and Vietnam are often assumed to lack functioning civil societies. In spite of apparent restrictions, the network members Andrew Wells-Dang studies actively create informal pathways for advocacy through cross-sectoral social networks. This book brings a fresh, original approach to understanding social action through the conceptual lens of informal environmental and health networks. Using personal relationships, media allies, and new technologies, activist networks are transforming public discourse and expanding political spaces. A series of rich and captivating case studies turn conventional depictions of controlled Chinese and Vietnamese civil societies on their heads. Wells-Dang demonstrates a wider range of advocacy techniques and strategies than previously documented in one-party authoritarian political systems. He argues convincingly that informal and virtual networks, rather than corporatist associations or autonomous non-profit organizations, are the true building blocks of civil society.


Description

Non-democratic states such as China and Vietnam are often assumed to lack functioning civil societies. In spite of apparent restrictions, the network members Andrew Wells-Dang studies actively create informal pathways for advocacy through cross-sectoral social networks. This book brings a fresh, original approach to understanding social action through the conceptual lens of informal environmental and health networks. Using personal relationships, media allies, and new technologies, activist networks are transforming public discourse and expanding political spaces. A series of rich and captivating case studies turn conventional depictions of controlled Chinese and Vietnamese civil societies on their heads. Wells-Dang demonstrates a wider range of advocacy techniques and strategies than previously documented in one-party authoritarian political systems. He argues convincingly that informal and virtual networks, rather than corporatist associations or autonomous non-profit organizations, are the true building blocks of civil society.


Reviews

'What a marvelous contribution to scholarship! This empirically rich and theoretically informed book by Andrew Wells-Dang makes a powerful argument for the centrality of networks in contemporary Chinese and Vietnamese civil societies. The comparative analysis of China and Vietnam is a significant achievement in itself.' - Ben Kerkvliet, Emeritus Professor, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
 
'A key future of civil society advocacy is in networks, and Andrew Wells-Dang's pioneering book explains how the cutting-edge process of NGO networking is helping to improve livelihoods, rights, the environment and government policy in China and Vietnam. This important volume will help show the way as the study of civil society networks expands in the years ahead. With this volume, Andrew Wells-Dang has done what many scholars hope to do - make a significant contribution to both research and policy advocacy.' Mark Sidel, Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin, USA
 
'The author presents an unprecedented, unique perspective to compare civil society networks and NGO advocacy in China and Vietnam. Through empirical case studies in real life context, this book reveals the subtle and complex dynamics of civil society in both countries, challenging the traditional analytical framework of state versus society.' - Fu Tao, China Development Brief, Beijing, China
  
'Drawing on trail-blazing research in both Vietnam and China, Wells-Dang demonstrates that the ordinary citizens of these two nations can indeed mobilize in support of a cause, stepping in to advocate successfully where government has either abdicated or failed to respond. The difference is that these advocacy groups aren't adopting Western 'civil society' models, but instead relying on forms of organization and tactics appropriate to their own societies.' - David Brown, Asia Sentinel



 


Contents

The Dynamic Societies of China and Vietnam
Redefining Civil Society: Networks and Advocacy
The Bright Future Group of People with Disabilities
The China Women's Network Against AIDS
Preserving Hanoi's Reunification Park
The China Rivers Network
Conclusion: Civil Society Networks and Political Change



Authors

ANDREW WELLS-DANG is an independent researcher based in Hoi An, Vietnam. He has
worked in China and Vietnam since 1993. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the
University of Birmingham, UK and an MA from Johns Hopkins University's School of
International Studies, USA. He is also an advisor to multiple advocacy networks.