Organising under the repressive state
in China’s citizenship challenge
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This chapter discusses how NGOs challenge the official citizenship discourse and policy in relation to the first ‘site’ of citizenship contestation: civic organising. It focuses, in particular, on instances when acts of ‘organising’ transform the wider citizenship structure. As an ‘act of citizenship’, organising is shaped by the limitations to civil and political rights of citizenship in China. The chapter illustrates how the act of organising, which is often undertaken under many financial, political and legal constraints, allows migrant workers who set up NGOs to manifest their resolve to take action over the circumstances in which they live. By doing so, they assert the right to voice, which they are not normally granted in the public space, and the right to organise, negotiating the role and function of citizen-formed organisations in China, thereby reshaping citizenship practices.

China’s citizenship challenge

Labour NGOs and the struggle for migrant workers’ rights

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