This study is based on 10 years of ethnography research in six cities in Sichuan after the Wenchuan earthquake. The author delineates local officials’ dispersed clientelist endeavours seeking stable collaboration with NGOs. In contrast to the corporatism model, in which government control of NGOs is formal and from the top down, the patron–client relationship entails considerably more subjectivity, flexibility and dispersion in the exercise of state power, which may or may not result in effective implementation of the state’s policy objectives. As local government officials increasingly deploy their informal authority in addition to their extensive institutional power, and as informal networks lubricate the policy process, state dominance over society becomes more pervasive, entrenched and fragmented.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations