Civil society in China: Historical evolution, ongoing transformation, and future prospects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter offers a critical overview of current deliberations and debates both in and outside China on the evolving nature of Chinese civil society caught in the throes of market liberation and political stagnancy. It starts with an overview of the historical origin of the conception of civil society in China from Confucian teachings to modern thinkers, and examines the contextual factors in the late 1980s and early 1990s within which the concept of ‘civil society’ rapidly rose as a catchphrase and popular term among China studies scholarship. It then summarises major theoretical threads and thematic strains in major academic publications from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, contemplating the role and function of Chinese civil society in contemporary China. It concludes with a discussion of the future trends and prospects of civil society in China in the years to come.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCivil Society in the Global South
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781351625449
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 selection and editorial matter, Palash Kamruzzaman.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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