Political Science, Public Administration and Philosophy
The Influence of Confucianism on the Emergence and Regulation of Nonprofits in ChinaIn 2009, The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA) of the People’s Republic of China commissioned a study of international experiences with the use of direct and indirect public policies for nonprofit organizations to deliver social and human services. While the study does produce a number of practical and interesting policy recommendations for the MoCA, there is an inherent problem with this type of research in that it assumes that lessons learned from one county context can be applied to other political and cultural domains without recognizing the unique cultural elements that shape the policy context. In China, a major cultural consideration is the influence of Confucian and Neo-Confucian traditions and beliefs. The Confucian tradition with its focus on the group over the individual and on responsibilities over rights seems to be highly conducive to fostering a robust system of nonprofit organizations (Fukuyama, 1995). However, the conclusion of this paper is the influence of Confucianism is complex and that is sometimes helps and sometimes hinders the development of the nonprofit sector. This study examines four Confucian values (Shu 恕, Ren 仁, Li 礼 and Wu lun 五伦) and their impact on the sector today.