Social Movements in China: Augmenting Mainstream Theory with Guanxi

Xiaoying Qi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


An extensive literature on social movements points to the role of social networks in movement recruitment and development. It is anomalous, therefore, that treatments of Chinese social movements seldom acknowledge the importance of guanxi networks. Theories of social movements are typically constructed on the basis of US and European cases and draw upon the intellectual formations of these regions. Through an examination of social movements in contemporary China it is shown that guanxi is not only relevant to the operation of social movements but to our understanding of how social movements are formed and also how they are suppressed and undermined by the state. It will be shown that by theorising social movements in China in terms of guanxi there is scope to augment social network approaches to social movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • collective action
  • framing
  • guanxi
  • repression
  • social movement
  • social networks


Dive into the research topics of 'Social Movements in China: Augmenting Mainstream Theory with Guanxi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this