Course Code


Course Name

State and Civil Society in Contemporary China


Saturday 10:30am-1:15pm


WMY 502


Xiaolu WANG

Teaching Assistant

WEN Mingrui

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

Detailed Course Outline is available on Blackboard.

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 social work organizations in Mainland China

Week 8: Social Innovation

Week 9: The social enterprise movement

Week 10: Case studies on social enterprises in Mainland China and Hong Kong

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

With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of these policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures.

  • In the case of group projects, all members of the group should be asked to sign the declaration, each of whom is responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents.
  • For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students’ uploading of the soft copy of the assignment.

Assignments without the properly signed declaration will not be graded by teachers.

Only the final version of the assignment should be submitted via VeriGuide.

The submission of a piece of work, or a part of a piece of work, for more than one purpose (e.g. to satisfy the requirements in two different courses) without declaration to this effect shall be regarded as having committed undeclared multiple submissions. It is common and acceptable to reuse a turn of phrase or a sentence or two from one’s own work; but wholesale reuse is problematic. In any case, agreement from the course teacher(s) concerned should be obtained prior to the submission of the piece of work.