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Reforming the governance of Chinese non-profits: a comparative analysis based on the UK's regulatory regime

LI, RUOQI (2017) Reforming the governance of Chinese non-profits: a comparative analysis based on the UK's regulatory regime. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



China has witnessed a proliferation in the number of non-profits over the past two decades. As the ‘third sector’ that sits between the government, on the one hand, and commercial/for-profits, on the other, non-profit organisations have helped generate revenue for the Chinese Government, increased the number of jobs in this sector and delivered a wide variety of essential services. Notwithstanding these benefits, however, non-profits in China are unlikely to fulfil the increased social, economic or cultural expectations placed upon them, unless their own governance and infrastructure mechanisms are efficient, functional and well-designed.

This throws up important and difficult questions about the role (and design) of board governance for non-profits in modern China. To answer these questions, the thesis seeks to develop an account of what contribution a board can make to the effective governance of non-profits in China, and how certain features of a board might be designed to achieve that. However, whilst the UK benefits from an abundance of academic literature, and regulatory experience, addressing non-profit governance, the Chinese non-profit sector, by contrast, has given such governance much less attention. Hence, this work provides a comparative study on non-profit board governance, drawing on the UK’s richer literature, thought and history in order to analyse better the challenges which China presents.

Within this comparison, a number of social and political characteristics will be emphasised which distinguish the Chinese non-profit sector from that of the UK. Of crucial importance here is the interplay between board governance and social determinants in the Chinese context, especially the relationship between the sector and the Chinese Government. In short, then, the overarching goal of my thesis is to develop a blueprint for an effective board for non-profits, which can be adapted to the distinctive characteristics of the Chinese non-profit sector, and against which current board regulatory requirements in China can be measured.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 Oct 2017 08:57

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