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Village Organizations and Their Role in the Wukan Incident

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image of The China Nonprofit Review

Abstract The rationality of the organizing behind the Incident was one of the most notable features at Wukan. If we look back over the process by which the villagers’ organizations developed and they began to play a positive role, we find that their orientation changed so that they shifted from engaging in destroying the order to engaging in protecting the order; and shifted from being outside the state system to becoming part of it. They also eventually managed to reconstruct the relationship between government and NGO and achieve accord with government. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that organizations will operate in a rational way. Analysis of their role during the Wukan Incident shows that the involvement of an informal traditional elite; the inclusive nature and the social legitimacy of the organizations; and the attitude adopted by government in its response are all important prerequisites to the positive role of villagers’ organizations being brought into play.


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