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Extending environmental governance: China's environmental state and civil society

Johnson, Thomas (2009) Extending environmental governance: China's environmental state and civil society. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis is a study of environmental governance reform in China. It investigates how new governance policies and arrangements are being introduced in order to overcome problems associated with China’s sizable environmental protection ‘implementation deficit’. Using an analytical framework based on ‘good governance’ criteria of accountability, transparency, participation, and rule of law, it focuses on developments within China’s environmental state, which includes state agencies and their policies, and civil society, incorporating environmental protection NGOs, citizen activists, and the media. Based on in-depth, qualitative research, this thesis examines several aspects of environmental governance reform in China: attempts to make local officials pay greater attention to environmental issues, formal public participation legislation and mechanisms, information disclosure, and ‘private interest’ activism. This thesis identifies interactions between the environmental state and civil society as vital in establishing new, more participatory governance processes. Through acting as ‘policy pioneers’, environmental activists can consolidate governance reforms emanating from the environmental state, and promote new governance norms. At the same time, however, this thesis identifies significant obstacles to the establishment of a more inclusive ‘governance’ approach to environmental protection in China that goes beyond Party-state institutions and actors. For this reason, it challenges the argument that China’s system of environmental governance is likely to converge any further with those observed in western liberal democracies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: China, environmental protection, governance, good governance, civil society
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Supervisor's Name: Duckett, Professor Jane
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Mr Thomas Johnson
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-737
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 May 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:25
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/737

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