Course Code


Course Name

Selected Themes on Chinese Society


Saturdays 10:30-13:15


YIA 503


Dr. Norah Xiaolu Wang

Teaching Assistant

Mavis Siu

Course Description

More and more governments are taking actions to encourage social innovation with a view to leveraging
resources in civil society to meet social needs. This course is designed to help students gain the knowledge
of the third sector in the Chinese contexts (Mainland China and Hong Kong). In the course, we explore
state-society relations by examining the roles of the third sector in public services, the development and
governance of the third sector, and government actions to encourage social innovation and social
entrepreneurship. The course also provides comparative analysis between the Chinese contexts and
western liberal democracies with a view to highlighting how global trends on social economy (e.g., impact
investing, social entrepreneurship) are adapted to Chinese contexts.

Course Outline

Week 1: Introduction to the third sector and civil society 

Week 2: Third sector regimes and state-society relations 

Week 3: The third sector in Hong Kong

Week 4: The third sector and social organizations in Mainland China 1 

Week 5: The third sector and social organizations in Mainland China 2

Week 6: The third sector and social organizations in Mainland China 3

Week 7: Case studies on local social service provision in Mainland China

Week 8: Urban commons 

Week 9: Social entrepreneurship and social Innovation

Week 10: Case studies on commons in Mainland China

Week 11: Government actions to build enabling ecosystems for social innovation

Week 12: Case studies on social innovation incubators in Hong Kong

Week 13: Global trends on impact and sustainability-oriented practices


Assessment & Assignments

Attendance 10%
Participation 10%
[Group report on case study 1] 25%
[Group report on case study 2] 25%
[Individual reflections on field visits] 30%

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary
guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at each assignment, students will be
required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.