Civil Society Networks in China and Vietnam
Informal Pathbreakers in Health and the Environment
by Andrew Wells-Dang
Series: Non-Governmental Public Action
31 Jul 2012
31 Jul 2012
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.