Essay Civil Society In China & Europe

Civil Society In China & Europe

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History Essays
Compares evolution, theories & practices, focusing on Chinese protests & reforms since late 1980s, roles & power of state & citizens, mass movements, leadership, religion, economics.

The brutally repressed 1989 student protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square have been widely seen as one spark that helped ignite the uprisings in Eastern Europe in that same year. When it is asked why the same kind of uprising did not take place in China many scholars have blamed the supposed absence of civil society there. Though uses of this term vary considerably, those who subscribe to this explanation of China’s problems generally conceive of civil society as an arena of independent associational activity free from state domination (Perry, Introduction 297). This is the type of activity — ranging from the Catholic Church in Poland to dissident intellectual circles in Czechoslovakia — that others have credited with providing the institutional stage on which the revolutions of 1989 were played out (Perry, Introduction 297). This explanation seems fitting…
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