Towards a more holistic way of representing the impact of hydro-electric projects in China: a case study of the Three Gorges Corporation

Zou, Sisi (2021) Towards a more holistic way of representing the impact of hydro-electric projects in China: a case study of the Three Gorges Corporation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


This research explores a more holistic way of representing the social and environmental impact of hydro-electric dams built by the Three Gorges Corporation (TGC) along the Chang Jiang River in China. The focus is on the accounting representations of nature, human-nature interrelationships, human-human interrelationships and social and environmental issues. This research constructs a more holistic theoretical framework embodying concepts from Gallhofer (2018), Georgakopoulos and Thomson (2008), Thomson et al. (2015), and the traditional Chinese philosophies of Confucianism and Taoism and Chinese mythology and their ecological implications. Using a case study method, this research collects data from interviews, observations, documents from the TGC, an environmental NGO group, the relocated population, the river people, and local government officers, and offers self-reflection from the researcher. Thematic analysis, as well as analytical tools from critical discourse analysis, and visual methods are employed to analyse the empirical research. The analysis indicates that TGC’s accounts represented a self-contradictory concept of harmony. The river people’s accounts further exemplified both harmonized aspects and conflicts, and dualism thinking. The relocated people’s accounts uncover the multiplicities of their life experiences before, and after, the relocation which is contrary to the homogenised delineation from the official sources. Incidences of conflict and tensions are also identified. The NGO group’s accounts are progressive in their emphasis and relationships towards both nature and humans and in their intentions to counter the Corporation. The researcher’s self-reflection reveals the obstacles and personal insights through the engagement with the relocation, government officials and river people in the Chinese context. This research illustrates the multiple perceptions and understanding of interrelationships and issues, at various levels, from accounts produced from both official and alternative sources and asks for further engagement from both these sources in the Chinese context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright and confidentiality issues this thesis is not available for viewing.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, alternative accounts, nature, nature-human interrelationship, Confucianism, Taoism, NGO.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Accounting and Finance
Supervisor's Name: Gallhofer, Professor Sonja and Paisey, Professor Catriona
Date of Award: 2021
Embargo Date: 23 November 2023
Depositing User: Miss Sisi Zou
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-81825
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2020 12:44
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 17:03
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81825

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