Document Type

Journal Article


GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communication and Arts




This article was originally published as: Hearn, K. E. (2010). Official/ Unofficial: Information Management and Social Association . Journal of Current Chinese Affairs , 39(3), 211-241. Original article available here


This paper explores the debates around civil society and corporatism as ways of understanding changes in social association, including non-governmental organisations and protest groups, and information management in relation to the development of the Internet. Both concepts have been used to examine the changes that have taken place since the implementation of the Open Door Policy and more recently the development of the Internet, and have shed light on the way in which new forms of social association operate, and on their relationship to the government. However, both concepts tend to be deterministic and eductionist positions. Instead, I use a centre-margin analysis based on medium theory to explore the relationship between the state and society as a way of shedding light on the interaction between the government and NGOs and on how the state manages the flow of information in order to shape public discourse.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.