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Seminar: Democratic culture and civil society in China

By Dr Anthony J. Spires, CUHK

Mon 6 Nov 2017
1:00pm - 2:15pm


Room 929, 9/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus

This talk explores the potential for Chinese civil society to nurture the “skills and habits” of democracy, a set of practices long hailed by social scientists as essential to a healthy democratic society. Drawing on over a decade of intermittent participant observation as well as on a series of recent interviews with young volunteers and NGO staffers in southern China, I highlight contrasts between the organizational cultures of professionalized grassroots NGOs, GONGOs, and bottom-up voluntary associations.

Part of a work in progress, in this talk I will focus on reflections by participants in two youth-led voluntary associations, examining the lessons they report learning through their participation and considering the broader implications for the emergence of democratic culture in China.

Anthony J. Spires is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and former Director of CUHK’s Centre for Social Innovation Studies. His research focuses on the development of civil society in China, including philanthropy, governmental regulation, and the cultures of nonprofit organizations.

His research has been published in numerous academic outlets, including The China Quarterly, The China Journal, the Journal of Civil Society, and The American Journal of Sociology. A graduate of Occidental College, Anthony holds a PhD in Sociology from Yale University.

This talk is part of our Sociological forum seminar series. 

HKU Sociology

Main Language