Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Civil Society
(1,295 words)

"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…

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Chamberlain, Heath B., “Civil Society”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 03 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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