Since 1978, China has pursued sweeping economic change in a transition from a Stalinist centrally planned economy to a socialist market economy. This has set in train a process of potentially fundamental social and institutional change. This book, part of the IDS Development Studies Series, explores the extent to which this experience can be understood in terms of the idea of ‘civil society’. It brings together a vast amount of empirical data on emergent social organisations and institutions in contemporary China. It includes in-depth case studies, and focuses on three major social groups – urban manual workers, women, and managers/entrepreneurs.