Navigating Uncertainty: The Survival Strategies of Religious NGOs in China
Published: Sep 2014

This article looks at the strategies religious NGOs (RNGOs) with strong transnational linkages use to maintain a continued presence in mainland China. It does so by utilizing neo-institutional theory as an instrument for analysis, with an emphasis on outlining the coercive, mimetic and normative pressures RNGOs face. One of the key findings of the study is that there is creative circumvention of isomorphic pressures by working with local agents, fostering trust with the local government, and keeping a low profile. Moreover, RNGOs dealt with the uncertain institutional environment in China through staff exchanges, denominational supervisions, tapping into global platforms, and by undergoing a professionalization process.









Keywords: Religion


  • Jonathan Tam and Reza Hasmath
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