Parallel Governance in China: The Case of Disaster Relief

Seminar/Forum

Parallel Governance in China: The Case of Disaster Relief

When natural disasters strike, which channels do people in China seek for urgent relief and to spread the information? In this talk, Dr Wu will discuss research based on field work and interviews since 2009 which finds that during crisis time, non-governmental actors carry out relief missions effectively in parallel with state agencies in many parts of China. A highly networked and capable non-governmental organisation (NGO) community in disaster relief has emerged, operated across-regions and established a system of self-governance in the country. Similar evidence can also be found in the fields of monitoring and suing environmental pollution, reforming regulations for rare disease patients and building alternative educational facilities. The talk will focus on the field of disaster relief, but also try to explain how seemingly powerless NGOs can break down state monopoly over information management, donation, and effective governing of public affairs. Case evidence seems to point out that NGOs and other types of non-state actors can build up a de facto governing mechanism, given all the suitable conditions, to replaces many of the state functions and even makes the state obsolete in some cases.

Presenter

  • Dr Fengshi Wu
    Dr Fengshi Wu, University of Melbourne