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Civil society, human rights and religious freedom in the People's Republic of China: analysis of CSOs' Universal Periodic Review discourse

Chaney, Paul 2017. Civil society, human rights and religious freedom in the People's Republic of China: analysis of CSOs' Universal Periodic Review discourse. International Journal of Human Rights 22 (4) , pp. 503-524. 10.1080/13642987.2017.1397630

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Abstract

This article examines religious freedom in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) using critical frame analysis of state and civil society organisations’ (CSOs) policy discourse associated with the United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The findings show how indigenous Chinese CSOs’ input to the UPR is limited. Their voice is muted, some merely mirror the rhetoric of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In contrast, international CSOs are highly critical of what they see as state failure to uphold religious freedom. The analysis reveals a significant disjuncture between the policy discourse of international CSOs and the CCP. The former’s discourse is framed in terms of: denial of rights, imprisonment, legal failings, (re-)education, torture, and persecution. In the absence of enforcement mechanisms, CCP input to the UPR can be seen as part of a process of legitimation and performativity; allowing the ruling elite to afford primacy to what it dubs ‘a framework of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ at the expense of religious freedoms.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 1364-2987
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 November 2017
Date of Acceptance: 12 October 2017
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2019 12:40
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/106783

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