The Role of Guanxi in Rural Social Movements: Two Case Studies from Taiwan

Chi-Mao Wang, Michael Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)


This paper examines everyday interactions, and particularly the role of traditional ritual and relationships, in the mobilization of rural social movements in Taiwan. In Chinese society, ‘guanxi’ (interpersonal relationships) are involved in everyday social interactions. Studies of collective action, such as social movements, cannot ignore the role that ‘guanxi’ play. This paper argues that collective action in Taiwan is strongly influenced by social practices, such as ‘guanxi’. The early part of the paper discusses social movement theories of social network, and briefly reviews ‘guanxi’ theory and its relationship with the concept of ‘social capital’. The later part examines the function of ‘guanxi’ in two recent social movements: the anti–No. 6/8 Naphtha Cracking Project (A6/8NCP) movement at Taixi and the anti–leather factory movement at Gouzao. These two social movements provide excellent case studies for rethinking how collective action functions in Taiwan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-212
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Issue number2
Early online date20 Sept 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2013


  • rural social movement
  • social network
  • social capital
  • guanxi
  • Taiwan


Dive into the research topics of 'The Role of Guanxi in Rural Social Movements: Two Case Studies from Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this