Tag Archives: grassroots

Exploring the Issue of Representation in Chinese Nonprofit Organizations

Chao Guo, Zhibin Zhang and Dongjin Cai

China’s nonprofit and voluntary sector has been on the rise since the government launched its economic and political reforms in 1979. In light of their important roles as social service providers and advocates for the public interest, there have been growing concerns about the extent to which these organizations are representative of the interests of their members and constituents and are accountable for their actions and performance. In this paper, we explore the representational capacities of China’s nonprofit organizations, with a focus on grassroots organizations. Drawing upon Guo and Musso (2007), we examine the representativeness of these organizations along five major dimensions: substantive, symbolic, formal, descriptive, and participatory representation. We then present two illustrative cases of grassroots organizations to tease out the complexity of representational mixes found in these organizations. We conclude the paper with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications as well as future research directions.

Journal of Public Administration [Chinese] 2, No.3 (2009): 171-191