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Back | Programme Area: The Social Effects of Globalization

Market Reform and Civil Society



This paper attempts to analyse the character of the new organizations which have emerged in the wake of economic reforms initiated in the 1980s. It is based on field work carried out in 1991 in Xiaoshan City in the central-east province of Zhejiang. There appears to have been a flowering of associations in Xiaoshan County during the Republican period between 1911 and 1949, but after 1949 most of them were either abolished or replaced by mass organizations controlled by the Communist Party. The post-Mao period was characterized by a remarkable upsurge in the number of social organizations. At the time of the survey, 93 social organizations were registered with the local authorities. They ranged from the old mass organizations such as trade unions and women’s federation to a variety of economic, scientific, cultural, health and social welfare associations. The loosening of the tight control of the Communist Party, the process of decentralization of power and the diversification and differentiation of economic activities were the principal factors in the growth of new organizations.
  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 1 Apr 1994
    Pub. Place: Geneva
    ISSN: 1012-6511
    From: UNRISD