This book explores social innovation and entrepreneurship in China. Focusing on selected social enterprises and processes, it addresses the question of "why China?", not in terms of military, economic or political ambitions, but in the terms of social innovation and welfare policies. The analyses range from detailed ethnography to discussions of broad global trends.

Despite vastly improved social conditions in the country, there are still unresolved issues that social enterprises address. The study elaborates on the complexities involved in their positioning between the state and their beneficiaries. Adding to the complexity is China’s dual system of circulation and the moral economy of ethnic minorities. The theoretical foundation of the study is the Durkheimian concept of the social contract. Its content is viewed as comprised of Maussian total social facts or guanxi, a similar Chinese framing, operationalised to particular socio-cultural configurations. The empirical cases document how social enterprises reposition elements in the various configurations in order to mobilise resources from their stakeholders. The book concludes that the discursive topology is altered in the process and the social contract is renewed in culturally meaningful, if paradoxical, ways.

This book will be of interest to researchers, students and academics in the fields of business and social entrepreneurship, especially to those with a particular interest in the Chinese case.

chapter |19 pages


part Part I|41 pages


chapter 1|14 pages

The global social enterprise movement

chapter 2|25 pages

The social enterprise movement in China

part Part II|62 pages


part Part III|35 pages