The Congressional-Executive Commission on China is currently soliciting resumes for fall internships (paid) in Washington, D.C., working on Chinese human rights and rule of law issues. Interns must be U.S. citizens.
The last three decades have altered the relationship between state and society in China.
Market reforms have undermined the state-run communes and work units that
dominated the social and economic lives of Chinese citizens before 1978.
Economic growth has increased citizens’ financial resources and their leisure
time. Chinese civil society has grown as a result. Citizens are founding new
organisations to protect their natural environment and cultural heritage, and
they are reinvigorating traditional ones such as temple or clan associations.
the attitude of the Chinese state toward civil society? Deep ambivalence. On
the one hand, Chinese officials want to see citizens organise themselves to
address a range of pressing problems, particularly given the limited resources
of the state. On the other hand, Party authorities remain concerned about the
emergence of social institutions outside their control, fearing these might
emerge as political challenges to their authority.
[This article appeared in Issue 47 (Summer 2009) of the China Review]