This essay argues that differences in religious ecologies, between China and the polities of Taiwan and Hong Kong are necessary but insufficient explanations for their different approaches to the reliance on religious actors for the delivery of social services. I discuss briefly two other explanations for the differences in policy outcomes: the legacies of colonial and semi-colonial rule, and the influence of ruling party ideologies, before I shift to an historical neo-institutional approach, which contrasts the path dependency of past policies of usurpation directed by the CCP at religious institutions between 1949 and 1978, and the policies of cooptation adopted in Taiwan and Hong Kong during the same period. I argue that although the Chinese government has affirmed with increasing clarity in recent years its interest in an approach that encourages the cooptation of religious institutions, the previous approach of usurpation has undermined the resources of religious institutions, left many religious actors distrustful of authorities, and continues to influence many constituencies that could oppose the approach of cooptation. To substantiate this argument, the essay proceeds as follows: it first discusses the different strategies available to states as they accumulate symbolic power, underlining the role of religious institutions in that process; then it contrasts the results achieved by religious philanthropy in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the provision of a wide array of services, on the one hand, with the difficulties faced by their counterparts in the delivery of social services in China, on the other; and finally it reviews some of the explanations for the discrepancies observed.
Asian Journal of Social Science – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2015
Keywords: Religious philanthropy; social policy; China; Taiwan; Hong Kong; path dependency; symbolic power
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera