3 Mar 2020
Seminars, 12:30 - 13:30, Anna Nussbaum auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, Bern, Switzerland

Brown Bag Seminar: Civil Society Promotion in Repressive Environments: Case Study of Ford Foundation in China

By Xinyu Yuan, PhD candidate in Political Science/International Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)


The civic space for independent local organizations has been shrinking in recent years, with over one hundred states having introduced restrictive laws limiting the activities of civil society organizations (CSOs). The crackdown on CSOs not only takes place in authoritarian countries such as Russia, Egypt, and China, but is also witnessed in some democratic states including Israel and Canada. In particular, the supervision and control of aiding activities by various external agencies targeting local CSOs have been deepened and extended. How have donor agencies, including governments, inter-governmental organizations (IOs), and transnational non-governmental organizations (NGOs), responded to such an increasingly repressive environment? Do they simply stop assistance programs, insist on their previous aid strategies, or make strategic adjustment in their operations?

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