Comparative Analysis of American NGOs in China and Chinese NGOs in the U.S.

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Abstract

This article analyzes the activities of American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China and Chinese NGOs in the United States in the context of global competition between the United States and China for the leadership in the future model of the world order. In International Relations theory, especially in its theoretical paradigm of realism, the consideration of states as actors in international relations dominates scholarship. However, in recent decades it has become apparent that researchers have a significant interest in non-state actors, such as interest groups and NGOs, and their impact on international relations. NGOs in China and the United States have different historical backgrounds, environments, and government institutions in different ways. Still, but in terms of comparative analysis they represent comparable categories. The analysis offered in this study shows that, firstly, despite the strict regulation of the activities of NGOs in place in China, American NGOs have more opportunities to work in this environment than Chinese NGOs do in the United States, where the situation for their activities is apparently more favorable. Secondly, despite the advantages that partnerships provide, neither American nor Chinese NGOs form partnership networks and therefore, lose momentum for their own development. Thirdly, although the conditions for their activities differ in both countries, American and Chinese NGOs have equal opportunities to pursue their goals. Finally, American NGOs in China are less dependent on their government than Chinese NGOs in the United States are on the Chinese government. The study is comparative and takes as its units of analysis Chinese NGOs in the United States and American NGOs in China. Developments in the field of interest group politics serve as the theoretical framework for this research. The investigation uses methods of comparative quantitative analysis and social network analysis, while the interdisciplinary nature of the methods allow them to take advantage of the analytical capabilities of Comparative Political Science, Interest Group Politics, and International Relations.

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Table 1. Differences between NGOs and GONGOs

Comparison criterion

NGOs

GONGOs

Material basis of activity

Public or private donations, fundraising

Government sponsored

Public perception of the legitimacy of an activity

Statements, actions and interpretations are seen as legitimate by the public

Statements, actions and interpretations can be viewed as compromised by the public given their closeness to government (notably the case in liberal democracies)

Geographical representation of activities

Local, Regional, National and/or International Power

Value orientation

Reflect individual NGO values and beliefs

Reflect government values and beliefs

Source: [Hasmath, Hildebrandt, Hsu 2019].

 

Fig. 1. Map of American NPOs in the PRC and their network of partnerships
Source: compiled by the authors using data of: Registered Foreign NGO Representative Offices Interactive Map and Filterable Table // China NGO Project.
URL: https://www.chinafile.com/ngo/registered-foreign-ngo-offices-map-full-screen (accessed: 29.01.2021).

 

Fig. 2. Map of Chinese NPOs in the USA and their network of partnerships
Source: compiled by the authors using data of: Endorsing Organizations // United Chinese Americans.
URL: https://ucausa.org/co-signers-of-uca/ (accessed: 29.01.2021).

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About the authors

Maxim Vladimirovich Kharkevich

MGIMO University

Author for correspondence.
Email: am.kharkevich@inno.mgimo.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9476-9694

PhD in Political Science, Associate Professor, Department of Governance and Politics, Deputy Director of the Department of Scientific Policy, MGIMO University, Editor-in-Chief, MGIMO Review of International Relations

Moscow, Russian Federation

Ivan Ivanovich Pisarev

Far Eastern Federal University

Email: pinoy@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0491-9503

Faculty Member, Department of Pacific Asia of the Institute of Oriental Studies - School of Regional and International Studies

Vladivostok, Russian Federation

Vsevolod Sergeyevich Cheresov

Far Eastern Federal University

Email: mr.cheresov99@mail.ru

Student, Department of Pacific Asia of the Institute of Oriental Studies - School of Regional and International Studies

Vladivostok, Russian Federation

Marina Olegovna Novogradskaya

Far Eastern Federal University

Email: novogradskaya2000@gmail.com

Student, Department of Pacific Asia of the Institute of Oriental Studies - School of Regional and International Studies

Vladivostok, Russian Federation

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1. Fig. 1. Map of American NPOs in the PRC and their network of partnerships

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2. Fig. 2. Map of Chinese NPOs in the USA and their network of partnerships

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Copyright (c) 2021 Kharkevich M.V., Pisarev I.I., Cheresov V.S., Novogradskaya M.O.

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