Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Anthony J. Spires '92 on the Emergence of Civil Society in China

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is proud to present Prof. Anthony J. Spires '92 as its 125th anniversary Distinguished Alumni Speaker.

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Prof. Anthony Spires

Spires, who was one of of the first Oxy students to receive a degree in Asian Studies, will speak on "Grassroots NGOs and the Emergence of Civil Society in China."

It may seem like a long way from the verdant fields of South Georgia to the industrial jungles of Shenzhen, China. But in Spires' view, "Actually, we're not as far apart as some people imagine. The grassroots labor rights NGOs I've worked with in China are mostly run by people coming off of farms - young people who left home at an early age to make their mark on the work and explore life outside of their village." 

Spires has also made his mark on the world, winning recognition from his fellow sociologists and China scholars globally for illuminating how China's emergent civil society manages to survive despite the constant threat of repression. Based in Hong Kong, he is also a global public intellectual who works with international NGOs, community-based groups, and government agencies who support society development in China. 

Spires obtained his doctorate in sociology from Yale University. He is associate director of the Centre for Civil Society Studies and assistant professor of sociology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow for the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and co-founder of YaleGlobal Online.