Author: Julia Greenwood Bentley.
The development of non-government organizations or civil society organizations in China is a relatively recent phenomenon. There is a great deal of diversity in terms of both the forms of organizations springing up and the causes to which they are dedicated. This article assesses how Chinese civil society organizations define their role in relation to government and to society, and the extent to which they perceive their role as linking government and society through, for example, public awareness and advocacy. Despite a political and regulatory environment that in many respects is not supportive of a vibrant civil society, many of these organizations have shown considerable ingenuity in devising strategies to interact effectively with government and with society as well as to influence policy and public opinion.