Civic Engagement and Sustainable Development in Urban China: Policy Lobbying by Social Organizations

  • Zhang ChangdongEmail author
Part of the ARI - Springer Asia Series book series (ARI, volume 7)


Sustainable development requires that China’s governance structure be changed: from a state-led model to one of state-society collaboration, in which government initiatives work with civic engagements. Over the last decade, which saw rapid economic growth together with rising concerns about unsustainability, the Chinese government started to address the problem of sustainability. At the same time, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are trying – regardless of their varying degrees of dependence on the state – to promote sustainable development, among other things by lobbying the authoritarian government to bring a variety of stakeholders into the policy-making process. Using comparative case studies and a quantitative analysis of policy lobbying by NGOs, this study finds that many NGOs are able – regardless of their varying degrees of autonomy from the state – to influence government policy-making through various channels. At the same time, there is quantitative evidence suggesting that sustainability-related NGOs – i.e. NGOs dedicated to the defence of the environment and of vulnerable social groups – have a stronger degree of policy influence compared to other NGOs.


State-society collaboration Non-governmental organization Civic engagement Environmental protection Cities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Government, Institute of State Governance and Center for Civil Society StudiesPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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