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Practical Options for Reforming the Government-Organized, Public-Interest Foundation System: Perspectives from Institutional-Change and Path-Dependency Theories

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Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) have developed vigorously amid China’s current social transformations and government reforms. Government-organized, public-interest foundations are a new and unique example among these NPOs. While their arrival has helped introduce NPOs’ social, public-interest characteristics to a broader segment of the public, this type of NPO is also largely a derivation of government system transformations. Viewed as a process of institutional change, we can see, in China’s reforms, characteristics of increasing returns and path dependence. Theories of institutional change and path dependence can therefore not only offer a systematic response to and analysis of public-interest foundations’ emergence and reforms; they can also offer helpful new directions for the healthy development and organizational improvement of China’s foundations.

Affiliations: 1: Li Li (), Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wuhan University of Science and Technology’s College of Literature, Law & Economics; 2: Edited by Chen Hongtao and Zhou Xiuping


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