State of Exchange

9780774833646: Hardback
Release Date: 15th January 2017

9780774833660: PDF
Release Date: 27th January 2017

9780774833677: EPUB
Release Date: 27th January 2017

3 b&w photos, 8 tables

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 228

Series Contemporary Chinese Studies

UBC Press

State of Exchange

Migrant NGOs and the Chinese Government

This exploration of the interactive relationship between Chinese NGOs and the Chinese state provides fresh insights into how the Chinese government operates and why it needs non-governmental organizations to survive.
Hardback / £44.00
PDF / £52.00
EPUB / £52.00

Non-governmental organizations have increased dramatically in China since the 1970s, despite operating in a restrictive authoritarian environment. With labour migrants moving to the cities en masse in search of higher wages and better standards of living, the central and local states now permit migrant NGOs to deliver community services to workers in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Engaging a new conceptual framework, Jennifer Hsu reveals how NGOs are interacting with the layers and spaces of the state and navigating a complex web of government bodies, lending stability to, and forming mutually beneficial relationships with, the state.


1 Moving Towards a Spatial Framework

2 Understanding Non-Governmental Organizations in China

3 Symbolic Cooperation

4 Asymmetric Cooperation

5 Strategic Cooperation

6 Foray in Spaces New and Old


Appendices; Notes; References; Index

Jennifer Y.J. Hsu is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. She has published in various journals including Journal of Contemporary China, Progress in Development Studies, The China Quarterly, Third World Quarterly, and Urban Studies. Her recent publications include the coauthored book HIV/AIDS in China – The Economic and Social Determinants and the coedited volume NGO Governance and Management in China.

Jennifer Hsu’s rich ethnographic study of migrant-oriented non-governmental organizations in Beijing and Shanghai opens a doorway to understanding how Chinese NGOs negotiate the limited spaces provided to them by the government. State of Exchange should be a go-to text for anyone hoping to understand the complex relationship between the state and society in China.

Timothy Hildebrandt, assistant professor of social policy and development, London School of Economics, and author of Social Organizations and the Authoritarian State in China

In articulating the multifaceted ways that different layers of the state engage with NGOs in China, Jennifer Hsu has written a book that conveys the complex reality of state–NGO relations in an authoritarian state. It should be of great interest to scholars and NGO practitioners alike.

Shawn Shieh, director of development and operations, China Labour Bulletin

[Hsu] carries out rigorous academic analysis to explore in case studies in both Beijing and Shanghai how the central government, the municipal government, street neighborhood entities, and residents’ committees interact to address issues involving migrant workers … This well-done study contributes to understanding Chinese politics and, more generally, how local governmental units operate with some independence under authoritarian central governments.

J. A. Rhodes, Luther College