The advocacy trap

Transnational activism and state power in China

By Stephen Noakes

The advocacy trap


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1949-0
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: December 2017
  • BIC Category: China, Society & social sciences / International relations, Society & social sciences / Political activism, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, HISTORY / Asia / China, International relations, International Relations


What does China's rise mean for transnational civil society? What happens when global activist networks engage a powerful and norm-resistant new hegemon? This book combines detailed ethnographic research with cross-case comparisons to identify key factors underpinning variation in the results and processes of advocacy on a range of issues affecting both China and the world, including global warming, intellectual property rights, HIV/AIDS treatment, the use of capital punishment, suppression of the Falun Gong religious movement, and Tibetan independence. Built on a unique blend of comparative and international theory, it advances the notion of "advocacy drift"-a process whereby the objectives and principled beliefs of activists are transformed through interaction with the Chinese state. The book offers a timely reassessment of transnational civil society, including its power to persuade and to leverage the policies of national governments.


'The richness of the case studies would be well-paired with more direct quotes from the author's ethnographic research. The book, nonetheless, will be of interest to scholars and students interested in the broader aspects of transnational civil society and how the nature of political systems, such as that of China may affect the efficacy of such networks, campaigns and related goals.'
Journal of Chinese Political Science


Introduction: the superpower's dilemma: to appease, repress, or transform transnational advocacy networks?
1 Mechanisms of persuasion: when and how are advocacy campaigns effective?
2 The power of state preferences: the 'natural cases' of the campaigns for Falun Gong and IPR protection
3 Reading the 'lay of the land': intercessory advocacy and causal process in the HIV/ AIDS treatment and death penalty abolitionist campaigns
4 State- directed advocacy: the 'drift' phenomenon in the 'free Tibet' and global warming campaigns
5 Strategic considerations, tough choices: how state preferences influence campaign forms
Conclusion: state power as reality


Stephen Noakes is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations and Asian Studies at the University of Auckland

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