[Preprint] A Typological Study of Chinese Foundations: Uneven Development and Future Landscape


Qun Wang
Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Foundations have been increasingly important in China’s nonprofit sector. In the last decade, not only the foundation number and assets grew times of before, but also new types of foundations emerged. They serve a good opportunity for researchers to study China’s social, political and economic transformation. The present paper takes advantage of the Research Infrastructure of Chinese Foundations (RICF) database to investigate the development and landscape of Chinese foundations. After classifying the foundations by several criteria, the paper finds a wide variety for foundation development and trajectory, and tries to address the following key questions: 1) How to disentangle the complexity along with the foundation development? 2) What caused the differentiated levels of development among different types of foundations? 3) What would be the future landscape of foundations? The comprehensive RICF database allows the author to construct typologies through which we can see that 1) foundations aren’t yet an independent sector because the government was involved in the majority of foundations’ establishment or management, and 2) government’s skeptical and utilitarian attitude plays the most important role in shaping the uneven foundation development pattern and characteristics. This research is important in that it offers an indepth analysis and an immediate and heuristic understanding on Chinese foundations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: China, foundations, foundation typology, civil society, state-society relations

Full text available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2687532