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Chinese Social Organizations. Growth and Change during the Reform Era. Social Org./ Civic Associations. Why are they important? Their role in liberal democracies: interest aggregation interest articulation foster civic skills facilitate political participation …. Interest Articulation.

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Chinese social organizations l.jpg

Chinese Social Organizations

Growth and Change during the Reform Era

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Social Org./ Civic Associations

  • Why are they important?

    • Their role in liberal democracies:

    • interest aggregation

    • interest articulation

    • foster civic skills

    • facilitate political participation

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Interest Articulation

  • Every political system has some way for people and social groups to express their needs and demands to the government.

  • Interest articulation can take many forms.

  • In large, established political systems, formal interest groups are a primary means of promoting political interests.

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Interest Groups

  • Interest articulation can occur through the actions of social or political groups that represent a set of people.

  • Some groups are poorly organized and unfocused, and often short-lived.

  • Other groups have a permanent organizational base, often with professional staffs to provide expertise.

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Associational Groups

  • A special subset of associational groups consists of citizens who are united not by a common economic or individual self-interest but by a common belief in a political ideology or a policy goal.

  • The environmental movement, many women's groups, and other civic groups are examples of this kind of associations.

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Civic Associations

  • Civic associations represent another way for citizens to articulate their policy goals by supporting groups that advocate their preferred policy positions.

  • Such groups have proliferated in most advanced industrial democracies in the past generation, and they are now spreading to the developing world.

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Civil Society

  • A society in which people are involved in social and political interactions free of state control or regulation.

  • Participation in associational and institutional groups can socialize individuals into the political skills and cooperative relations that are part of a well-functioning society.

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Controlled Interest Group Syst.

  • There is a single group for each social sector.

  • Membership is often compulsory.

  • Each group is normally hierarchically organized.

  • Groups are controlled by the government or its agents in order to mobilize support for government policy.

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Controlled Interest Group Syst.

  • Groups exist to facilitate government control of society.

  • In the traditional communist systems, the party penetrates all levels of society and controls all the permitted associational groups.

  • Unions and other interest associations are subordinated to the Communist Party.

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Interest Articulation in China

  • Most ordinary citizens engage in interest articulation without interest aggregation.

  • This takes the form of personal contacts to articulate individual concerns about the effects of policies on their lives.

  • Much of this interest articulation takes place at the workplace.

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Interest Aggregation

  • For the most part, the function of interest aggregation is monopolized by the Communist Party

  • The party's role in interest aggregation is being diluted and the methods it employs have also evolved.

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During Cultural Revolution

  • 1966-69, citizens were allowed to form political organizations outside of the Communist Party

  • Characterized by political struggle, disorder, and violence

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"Satellite Parties"

  • Under the formal leadership of the Communist Party are eight "satellite parties," a legacy of the communist pre-1949 strategy of provisional cooperation with noncommunist democratic parties.

  • These parties have no real role in policymaking, but they are represented in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

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Mass Organizations

  • The other older formal organizations that aggregate like interests in the Chinese political system are the "mass organizations."

  • They are extensions of the Communist Party into society, nationwide in scope and organized hierarchically.

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Mass Organizations

  • The All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the Women's Federation remain active and important mass organizations today.

  • Mass organizations are led by Communist Party officials, who are specially assigned to these positions and who take direction from party committees.

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Mass Organizations

  • The main function of these organizations is not to aggregate and represent group interests for consideration in the policymaking process, but to facilitate propagation of party policy to the relevant groups.

  • Essentially, mass organizations represent the interests of the Communist Party to the organized "interest groups" it dominates.

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Mass Organizations

  • The classic description of this relationship refers to mass organizations as “transmission belts” for the Communist Party.

    • bi-directional "transmission belts"?

  • Mao Zedong’s “mass line”

    • loyally carrying out Party lines and policies

    • feed back information from the masses

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Mass Organizations

  • nearly 200 national mass organizations are fully funded and staffed by the government

  • All-China Federation of Trade Unions

    • 226 million members in 2009

    • organized by work units

  • All-China Women’s Federation

    • organized by administrative or work units

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Social Organizations since 1979

  • NGOs and government-organized NGOs

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Social Organizations

  • A very different set of associations emerged in the late 1980s with official encouragement.

  • These "social organizations" range widely in form and focus.

  • In form, they include genuine NGOs and government-organized NGOs.

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Government-Organized NGOs

  • Among the most interesting GONGOs are the business associations set up to organize firms

    • Self-Employed Laborers Association

    • Private Enterprises Association

    • Federation of Industry and Commerce

  • The Federation of Industry and Commerce organizes the largest Chinese firms.

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  • Among NGOs, the 250 organizations that focus on environmental issues are at the vanguard of NGO activity.

  • The largest, best funded, and best organized environmental NGOs focus primarily on species and nature conservation and environmental education.

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Social Organizations

  • Relationship with the state

extension close distant autonomous

corporatism semi-official semi-civil civil society