The purpose of my research is to understand the opportunity structure of NGOs in China and their adaptive strategies for sustainable development through the lens of NGO professionals. Opportunity structure consists of political, economic, and social opportunities that constrain or expand mobilization for social actors. I review the existing literature on the impact of the Chinese state on the nonprofit sector, adaptive strategies that social actors employ, as well as case studies on civic and environmental activism. I use Weber’s theory of bureaucracy and resource mobilization theory to understand how social actors in China navigate opportunity structures existing in their unique context. I gathered responses from 11 participants through interviews with professionals in nonprofit sector in China. Through my data analysis, my research speaks on the experiences of these organizations and how their strategies for sustainable development can be applied in future understanding of the unique position NGOs occupy in China.


Mariola, Matthew


Sociology and Anthropology


Civic and Community Engagement


Nongovernmental Organizations, Civil Society, Social Enterprises, China

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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