Human Rights Interventions

Resistance Under Communist China

Religious Protesters, Advocates and Opportunists

Authors: Wang, Ray

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  • Centers on case studies, more than 200 interviews, and the author's personal observations over five years
  • Provides critical information to both practitioners and scholars on what activists should and should not do
  • Analyzes the delicate competition between legally registered groups and the "underground" groups created by China's policies
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About this book

This book examines religious activism—Christianity, Buddhism, and Taoism—in China, a powerful atheist state that provides one of the hardest challenges to existing methods of transnational activism. The author focuses on mechanisms used by three kinds of actors: protesters, advocates and opportunists, and uses regional, inter-faith, and international comparisons to understand why some foreign advocates can enter China and engage in illegal aid and missions to empower local activists, while the same groups cannot conduct the same activities in another geographically, economically and politically similar location. The stories in this book demonstrate a more inclusive and bottom-up approach of transnational activism; they challenge the conventional spiral theory paradigm of human rights literature and the narrow views about GONGOs in civil society literature. This new knowledge helps to sustain a more optimistic view and offers an alternative way of promoting human rights in China and countries with similar authoritarian environments.


About the authors

Ray Wang is Associate Professor at National Chengchi University, Taiwan. His major research interests focus on human rights, religious freedom and transnational advocacy networks, and he is the recipient of an Excellent Young Scholar Research Fund from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (2018–2021).

Reviews

“This book is a fascinating and illuminating extension of existing fieldwork studies of the Protestant churches in China. Ray Wang has done something extremely valuable by shining a light on a new phenomenon and then developing a novel theory that explains how and why house and official churches win Party-state support for illegal connections to overseas groups. They do this by ‘marketing’ the resources that overseas organizations can bring to government officials. An important, ambitious theoretical addition to understanding church-state relations in contemporary China.” (Carsten Vala, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Loyola University Maryland, USA) 

“Ray Wang’s original study theorizes the conditions under which transnational religious advocacy can augment, or constrain, opportunities for religious expression in contemporary China. His empirically rich and theoretically informed analysis identifies specific strategies that allow transnational and Chinese domestic religious actors to cooperate in the pursuit of shared goals, despite political obstacles. Wang provides new insights into Chinese state-religion relations, and a new framework for analyzing dynamics of transnational advocacy under authoritarian rule.” (Susan K. McCarthy, Professor, Political Science, Providence College, USA) 

“In this fascinating study, Ray Wang investigates how transnational religious activists in China have expanded religious freedoms for some groups. Building on years of research, Wang challenges conventional assumptions about human rights by demonstrating how transnational activism can effectively operate in ways that are subtle, quiet, and behind the scenes. In so doing, he also makes a powerful case for looking beyond the ‘naming and shaming’ strategies cultivated by prominent human rights organizations in order to pay more attention to the sophisticated strategies pursued by local actors to advance social change.” (Bronwyn Leebaw, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California Riverside, USA) 

“Ray Wang’s book carefully examines how transnational networks have helped local believers in China to overcome many obstacles in the restrictive regulations. The outsiders have helped to fund the construction of churches and temples, provide social services to the needy people, and facilitate evangelism or propylitization. He shows that there are regional and personal variations in the implementation of the regulations, and the regulations themselves have left certain gray areas between the red (legal) and illegal (black), so that transnationals may work with certain local groups in the ‘red market’ of religion and provide support in all red, black, or gray markets. It sheds light on the challenges and opportunities of cooperation between local believers and transnational activists under an authoritarian regime.” (Fenggang Yang, Professor, Sociology, and Director, Center on Religion and Chinese Society, Purdue University, USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-33

    Wang, Ray

  • Facilitating Activism in a Strong Authoritarian State

    Pages 35-71

    Wang, Ray

  • China’s Religious Affairs Policy

    Pages 73-99

    Wang, Ray

  • United Front Work and Religious Affairs Institutions

    Pages 101-127

    Wang, Ray

  • A Tale of Four Cities: Transnational Christian Activism in the Heartland

    Pages 129-156

    Wang, Ray

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14148-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14147-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Resistance Under Communist China
Book Subtitle
Religious Protesters, Advocates and Opportunists
Authors
Series Title
Human Rights Interventions
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-14148-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-14148-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-14147-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 235
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour
Topics