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Civil Society in China: The Legal Framework from Ancient Times to the "New Reform Era" Hardcover – April 26, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


"Simon's deeply researched work dispels the myth that China lacks a history of civic participation and details the re-emergence of a vibrant civil society albeit under the constraints of a wary central government."
--Prof. June Teufel Dreyer, University of Miami (Political Science)

"Karla Simon's book fills an important gap in our understanding of civil society in China, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the historical and legal context of current developments in China's civil society."
--Shawn Shieh, Director and Editor of China Development Brief (English)

"The most important book for legal studies on NPO in China."
--Prof. Ge Yunsong,University of Peking (Beijing) Law School

"An important book for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners seeking to understand the legal underpinnings of the development of civil society in China."
--Benjamin L. Liebman, Robert L. Lieff Professor of Law, Director, Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Columbia Law School

"Chinese civil society has grown dramatically over the past thirty years. But state attitudes remain deeply conflicted - welcoming the assistance of civil society in addressing pressing social problems, but instinctively fearing the emergence of truly independent organizations. This work, by one of the most prominent American experts on comparative civil society law, helps readers navigate the complicated (and evolving) regulatory web governing civil society in China today."
--Carl Minzner, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Law School

"Meets a long-felt need for a detailed empirical study linking the emergence of associational life with the evolution of civil law in China from imperial times to the present day. The link is clear enough in the People's Republic, as Simon shows through attention to changing rules and regulations governing civil society. Her wider contribution is to show that this has always been the case."
--John Fitzgerald, Truby and Florence Williams Chair in Social Investment and Philanthropy
Swinburne University, Melbourne

"Karla Simon's book provides insights into civil society in China that are rare for a Westerner to perceive."
-- Pei Bin, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Beijing

"Karla Simon's clearly written, meticulously researched book admirably fills the pressing need for a comprehensive overview of philanthropy and civil society in China. There have been historical studies of philanthropic and associational activity in China during its long history prior to 1949 and many studies of philanthropy and civil society in China during the reform period (1980s to the present). But there has never been a study that has bridged the gap."
-- Shawn Shieh, director and editor, China Development Brief

"[Karla Simon's] impressive study surveys the recent history of "community social organizations," provides detailed analysis of the laws and regulations that apply to such organization, and examines Party policies toward them, pointing out the contradictions."
--Stanley Lubman, Wall Street Journal

"Karla Simon's book has made highly commendable contributions to the field by providing a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the legal framework of China's civil society. The author successfully supported her thesis that China's social and economic histories have affected the legal changes related to China's civil society. Not only is this book a must-read for those scholars who study China's civil society, but it should also be an assigned text for graduate students and policymakers who want to understand the history, laws, government, and politics of China."
--Sheng Ding, Journal of Chinese Political Science

About the Author

Karla W. Simon is Professor of Law at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America. She is Co-Director with Dr. Frederick Ahearn of the Center for International Social Development, also at CUA. Professor Simon was previously a member of the faculties of the law schools at Seton Hall University and the University of San Diego, and she served as a visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, Peking University, the University of Bologna, and Central European University. She received her JD from Duke University School of Law and her LLM from NYU. Her previous books include Outsourcing Social Services to Civil Society Organizations in China and Around the World (with Wang, Salamon & Irish 2009), Charity Law and Social Policy (with O'Halloran and McGregor-Lowndes 2008), and Guidelines for Laws Affecting Civic Organizations (with Irish and Kushen 2004).

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