Advocacy by Chinese Nonprofit Organizations: Towards a Responsive Government?

Zhibin Zhang and Chao Guo

To what extent do Chinese nonprofit organisations, through advocacy activities, engage citizens in influencing public policies and contribute to the development of a participatory policy process in China? Based on data collected through a mail survey of 203 registered nonprofit organisations, this study examines the advocacy activities of Chinese nonprofits and their contributions to a responsive government. We find that the intensity of advocacy activities by Chinese nonprofits is relatively low and varies by organizational type, by degree of professionalisation, and by dependence on government funding. We find no association between advocacy intensity and the extent to which Chinese nonprofits engage citizens at the organisational level prior to their advocacy efforts. The ineffective marshalling and integration of citizens’ interests within Chinese nonprofit organisations might be attributable to the corporatist structure of the institutional and resource environments in which Chinese nonprofit organisations operate.

Australian Journal of Public Administration 71, no. 2 (2012): 221-232