A State Creation? Civil Society and Migrant Organizations

  • Jennifer Hsu


In the previous chapter, we saw that migrants are changing the urban space. The emergence of civil society organizations (CSOs) across China since economic liberalization of the late 1970s is a significant indication of civil society development. This chapter examines a particular segment, namely the CSOs that work with migrant workers in Beijing and Shanghai. As we have seen in Li Zhang’s chapter, rural-urban migration has contributed and shaped China’s economic development tremendously, more acutely in the last thirty years. The discrimination and poor treatment, including hazardous working conditions and lack of social benefits as experienced by migrant workers in China’s urban areas have prompted the emergence of many organizations seeking to represent and assist this vulnerable social group. As noted in the previous chapter by Li Zhang, the presence of migrants in the cities have not resulted in substantive rights in terms of access to decent and secure housing, and they are thus continually excluded in various ways. The organizations that have surfaced, by and large have sought to partner with the government to further expand their work. When referring to the term CSOs, it is deemed to primarily encompass a wide range of civil society actors whether non-state, nonprofit, and voluntary organizations among many others; nongovernment organizations (NGOs) are included in the term.


Civil Society Migrant Worker Migrant Child Migrant Community Migrant School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Reza Hasmath and Jennifer Hsu 2009

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  • Jennifer Hsu

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