Department of Government and International Studies
The development of grassroots Chinese NGOs following the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008: Three case studies, four Modi Vivendi
Many analysts consider 2008 to have been “NGO year zero” for China, as the relief and reconstruction process following the Wenchuan earthquake witnessed a significant surge in NGO activity. This study traces the development trajectory of three NGOs in Y City over the eight years since the area was severely struck by the Wenchuan earthquake. These NGOs actively assisted in the post-disaster recovery. By the time the reconstruction was complete, they had translated their distinct resources, development plans, and relationships with local government into different approaches to helping the local community. This study proposes an interactive model that captures the nuanced dynamics over time on both sides of the NGO–local government relationships. The model focuses on variations in NGOs’ orientations and bargaining power. This yields a matrix with four elementary types of relationship: “parent-–child,” “mercantile,” “predator–prey,” and alienated relationships. These interaction patterns and their effects are clearly seen in the case studies.
NGO development, Disaster management, China, Wenchuan earthquake
Source Publication Title
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
The author gratefully acknowledges the Yale MacMillan Center, the Yale Council for East Asian Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty Research Grant (FRG1/13-14/043), and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKBU 22400214-ECS) for providing financial support for fieldwork in Sichuan Province, China between 2008 and 2016. The author also thanks Chan Hei Yin Kyle for his excellent research assistance.
Link to Publisher's Edition
Kang, Y. (2017). The development of grassroots Chinese NGOs following the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008: Three case studies, four Modi Vivendi. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28 (4), 1648-1672. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-017-9837-1