Public Trust as a Driver of State-Grassroots NGO Collaboration in China

Thursday 21 December 2023

Farid, May, and Chengcheng Song. Journal of Chinese Political Science 25, no. 4 (1 December 2020): 591–613.

Farid and Song’s article discusses how NGOs in China seek to gain public trust, specifically through the cultivation of relationships with the state. The authors show that for many Chinese NGOs, working closely with the Chinese government and especially with local governments is a crucial way in which organisations can gain the trust of those they are intending to work with. Building trust and connections with a community is the first step in an NGO’s work. These relationships allow an organisation to work effectively in a particular area. In the case of China, one of the primary mechanisms by which NGOs build trust with the public is through alignment with local governments. The authors not only show that trust in local governments and NGOs are linked, but that building a relationship with the government allows NGOs to operate much more smoothly due to increased funding and ease of access to gain the legal permits required to operate in China. The authors demonstrate that to effectively promote peace in rural areas and for marginalised groups in China, many organisations choose to develop relationships with the Chinese state.

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