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Extra-Regional Chambers of Commerce and Local Governance in Contemporary China

  • 중앙사론
  • 2014, (40), pp.331-362
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

장호준 1

1한국방송통신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Extra-regional chamber of commerce(ERCC), or yidi shanghui, is a voluntary civil organization consisting of one locality’s firms that have established operations in another province or city. Representing the socioeconomic interests of the firms from same hometown, numerous ERCCs have emerged as local interest group in the business regions since the turn of the century. The proliferation of this new form of civil organization has been propelled by the convergence of the interests between ERCCs and local governments. This article deals with the ways ERCC operates in the local context. It examines the characteristics of ERCC, a distinct form of civil organization in contemporary China. In particular, it looks into the strategies ERCC and its member firms employ when they try to take root in the local society which is strange to them. Based on the findings, the article also discusses the sociopolitical implications that the participation of ERCCs in the local governance conveys. The growing involvement of ERCCs in the local governance is both an outcome and a cause of the ongoing changes in the mode of social management by the Chinese Party-state. In regards to Chinese state-society relationship, the case of ERCC does not fit well either to civil society model or to corporatism model which tends to circumscribe the analytical purview. The proliferation of the theoretically unruly form of civil organizations calls for paying particular attention to the dynamics between diverse layers of state apparatuses and varying forms of grassroots organizations in the local settings.

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