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Civil Society

(1,295 words)

Author(s): Chamberlain, Heath B.
"Civil society" is a new and quite fashionable concept in the study of Chinese politics. Rarely mentioned before the late 1980s, by the mid-1990s it had become the centerpiece of many books and articles. What brought about the change, of course, were events inside China and out (the pro-democracy ferment among Chinese intellectuals and students in 1986-87, the leadership's promise of genuine political reform at the Chinese Communist Party's 13th Congress, the massive demonstrations in the street…