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Major environmental degradation is a serious problem for China as the country's economy continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. In recent years environmental organisations have begun to emerge in China, and in some cases have had remarkable success in affecting policies which would have had significant adverse impacts on the environment. This book, based on extensive original research, adopts a multi-disciplinary research approach to examine environmental activism in China, focusing on four cities. It analyses the nature, characteristics, strategies, organizational modes and influence of what could be labeled a Chinese environmental movement in-the-making. In particular, this volume highlights the specificities of Chinese environmental activism in an increasingly globalizing world, along with a comparison to the environmental movement in Western Europe and North America.
This book is an in-depth study on the use of social media in environmental activism in China. The author weaves together post-structuralist theory, media theory, social movement theory, and environmental communication studies to analyze concepts such as wild public networks and force majeure in the context of contemporary social movements.
Featuring contributions from top scholars and emerging stars in the field, the Handbook of Protest and Resistance in China captures the complexity of protest and dissent in contemporary China, while simultaneously exploring a number of unifying themes. Examining how, when, and why individuals and groups have engaged in contentious acts, and how the targets of their complaints have responded, the volume sheds light on the stability of China’s existing political system, and its likely future trajectory.
In recent years China has been remarkable in achieving extraordinary economic transformation, yet without fundamental political change. To many observers this would seem to imply a weakness in Chinese civil society. However, though the idea of democracy as multitudes of citizens taking to the streets may be attractive, it is simultaneously misleading as it disregards the nature of political change taking place in China today: a gradual shift towards a polity adapted to a pluralist society. At the same time, one may wonder what the limited political space implies for the development of a social movement in China. This book explores this question by focusing on one of the most active areas of Chinese civil society: the environment. China’s Embedded Activism argues that China’s semi-authoritarian limitations on the freedom of association and speech, coupled with increased social spaces for civic action has created a milieu in which activism occurs in an embedded fashion. The semi-authoritarian atmosphere is restrictive of, but paradoxically, also conducive to nationwide, collective action with less risk of social instability and repression at the hand of the governing elite. Rich in case studies about environmental civic organizations in China, and written by a team of international experts on social movements, NGOs, democratization, and civil society, this book addresses a wide readership of students, scholars and professionals interested in development, geography and environment, political change, and contemporary Chinese society.
Sixteen of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in China. A serious water pollution incident occurs once every two-to-three days. China's breakneck growth causes great concern about its global environmental impacts, as others look to China as a source for possible future solutions to climate change. But how are Chinese people really coming to grips with environmental problems? This book provides access to otherwise unknown stories of environmental activism and forms the first real-life account of China and its environmental tensions. 'China and the Environment' provides a unique report on the experiences of participatory politics that have emerged in response to environmental problems, rather than focusing only on macro-level ecological issues and their elite responses. Featuring previously untranslated short interviews, extracts from reports and other translated primary documents, the authors argue that going green in China isn't just about carbon targets and energy policy; China's grassroots green defenders are helping to change the country for the better.
Throughout the world religious organizations are exploring and implementing into action ideas about the relevance of religion and spirituality in dealing with a growing multitude of environmental issues and problems. Religion and spirituality have the potential to be extremely influential for the better at many levels and in many ways through their intellectual, emotional, and activist components. This collection focuses on providing a set of captivating essays on the specifics of concrete cases of environmental activism involving most of the main Asian religions from several countries. Particular case studies are drawn from the religions of Animism, Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism. They are from the countries of Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand. Thereby this set of case studies offers a very substantial and rich sampling of religious environmental activism in Asia. They are grounded in years of original field research on the subjects covered. Collectively these case studies reveal a fascinating and significant movement of environmental initiatives in engaged practical spiritual ecology in Asia. Accordingly, this collection should be of special interest to a diversity of scientists, academics, instructors, and students as well as communities and leaders from a wide variety of religions, environmentalism, and conservation.
The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appears to have conceded that environmental issues are an area in which people may publicly challenge governmental and commercial actions; however, the movement does not yet appear to have undergone a significant, positive change of scale. This study proposes that, as the environmental movement continues to grow in size and legitimacy, the CCP will continue to co-opt these protests, using them to maintain its political monopoly. Yet, the increased dissemination of information may slowly allow China's civil society to coalesce and reach past local barriers. This research takes a closer look at environmental protests reported over a ten-year timespan, where they occurred, the issues protested, and whether they have affected Chinese society and politics. Due to an inability to access primary sources on Chinese protests, this study covers only some of the broad, macro-level trends visible through the lens of these secondary sources. Nevertheless, it concludes that the number of reported incidents of protest is growing, and their influence is felt throughout civil society.The book takes a closer look at recent environmental protests, where they occurred, the issues protested, and if they have affected Chinese society and politics. Due to an inability to access primary sources on Chinese protests, this study uses secondary sources and Western news accounts. Unfortunately, this introduces an inherent bias to the sample. Because of these limitations, this study will only cover some of the broad, macro-level trends visible through the lens of these sources.To understand the context of environmental activism in China, Chapter II traces the history of Chinese civil society and environmental activism from Mao through the current government. Chapter II will also briefly introduce a few of the key organizations and individuals that are prominent or influential in the Chinese environmental movement. Chapter III will provide a broad overview of environmental street protest trends through qualitative analysis of the collected dataset. Chapter IV will use the qualitative data of Chapter III as a foundation before offering a high-level analysis of the Chinese environmental movement within the larger context of social movement literature. Finally, the conclusion will speculate on the effect of environmental protests on Chinese Civil Society.CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION * A. CIVIL SOCIETY IN CHINA * B. LITERATURE REVIEW * 1. Social Movement Theory * 2. Environmental Activism and NGOs in China * C. PROBLEMS AND HYPOTHESES * D. METHODS AND OUTLINE * CHAPTER II - CHINESE CIVIL SOCIETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION: 1980-2014 * A. CHINESE CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE EVOLUTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS * 1. The Years 1980-1989 * a. Civil Society * b. Environmental Regulations * 2. The Years 1990-1999 * a. Civil Society * b. Environmental Regulations * 3. The Years 2000-2014 * a. Civil Society * b. Environmental Regulations * B. ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND CASE STUDIES * 1. Environmental Activists * a. Environmental Non-government Organizations * b. Online Activists * 2. A Case Study * C. CONCLUSION * CHAPTER III - ENVIRONMENTAL PROTEST IN CHINA: BY THE NUMBERS * A. OVERARCHING TRENDS IN CHINESE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTS * 1. Data Characteristics * 2. Data Trends * B. PROTESTS IN COMPARISON TO DEMOGRAPHIC AND ECONOMIC DATA * 1. Distance from Beijing (Political Control) * 2. Internal Migration * 3. Levels of Environmental Degradation * 4. Economic Explanations * C. CONCLUSION * CHAPTER IV - CHINA'S ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTS, FOLLOWING THE PATTERN * A. SOCIAL MOVEMENT THEORY WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS * B. CHINA'S GROWING ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT
Knowledge and insight in national environmental governance in China is widespread. However, increasingly it has been acknowledged that the major problems in guiding the Chinese economy and society towards sustainability are to be found at the local level. This book illuminates the fast-changing dynamics of local environmental politics in China, a topic only marginally addressed in the literature. In the course of building up an institutional framework for environmental governance over the last decade, local actors have generated a variety of policy innovations and experiments. In large measure these are creative responses to two main challenges associated with translating national environmental policies into local realities. The first such challenge is a policy implementation gap stemming from the absence of the state capacity necessary to the implementation of environmental measures. The second challenge refers to the need for local non-state actors to engage in environmental management; oftentimes such a participation gap contributes to implementation failures. In recent years, we have seen a multitude of initiatives within China at the provincial level and below designed to bridge both gaps. Hence, the central aim of this book is to assess these experiments and innovations in local environmental politics.This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning.
China’s huge environmental challenges are significant for us all. They affect not only the health and well-being of China but the very future of the planet. In this trailblazing book, noted China specialist and environmentalist Judith Shapiro investigates China’s struggle to achieve sustainable development against a backdrop of acute rural poverty and soaring middle class consumption. Using five core analytical concepts to explore the complexities of this struggle - the implications of globalization, the challenges of governance; contested national identity, the evolution of civil society and problems of environmental justice and equity - Shapiro poses a number of pressing questions: Do the Chinese people have the right to the higher living standards enjoyed in the developed world? Are China's environmental problems so severe that they may shake the government's stability, legitimacy and control? To what extent are China’s environmental problems due to patterns of Western consumption? And in a world of increasing limits on resources and pollution "sinks," is it even possible to build an equitable system in which people enjoy equal access to resources without taking them from successive generations, from the poor, or from other species? China and the planet are at a pivotal moment; the path towards a more sustainable development model is still open. But - as Shapiro persuasively argues - making this choice will require humility, creativity, and a rejection of business as usual. The window of opportunity will not be open much longer. Chapter 1 - 'The Big Picture' - is available online.
This book brings a fresh, original approach to understand social action in China and Vietnam through the conceptual lens of informal environmental and health networks. It shows how citizens in non-democratic states actively create informal pathways for advocacy and the development of functioning civil societies.
China is home to half of the world's large dams and adds dozens more each year. The benefits are considerable: dams deliver hydropower, provide reliable irrigation water, protect people and farmland against flooding, and produce hydroelectricity in a nation with a seeimingly insatiable appetite for energy. As hydropower responds to a larger share of energy demand, dams may also help to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, welcome news in a country where air and water pollution have become dire and greenhouse gas emissions are the highest in the world. Yet the advantages of dams come at a high cost for river ecosystems and for the social and economic well-being of local people, who face displacement and farmland loss. This book examines the array of water-management decisions faced by Chinese leaders and their consequences for local communities. Focusing on the southwestern province of Yunnan—a major hub for hydropower development in China—which encompasses one of the world's most biodiverse temperate ecosystems and one of China's most ethnically and culturally rich regions, Bryan Tilt takes the reader from the halls of decision-making power in Beijing to Yunnan's rural villages. In the process, he examines the contrasting values of government agencies, hydropower corporations, NGOs, and local communities and explores how these values are linked to longstanding cultural norms about what is right, proper, and just. He also considers the various strategies these groups use to influence water-resource policy, including advocacy, petitioning, and public protest. Drawing on a decade of research, he offers his insights on whether the world's most populous nation will adopt greater transparency, increased scientific collaboration, and broader public participation as it continues to grow economically.
On October 1, 2009, the People's Republic of China (PRC) celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding. And what an eventful and tumultuous six decades it had been. During that time, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China was transformed from one of the world's poorest countries into the world's fastest growing major economy, and from a weak state barely able to govern or protect its own territory to a rising power that is challenging the United States for global influence. Over those same years, the PRC also experienced the most deadly famine in human history, caused largely by the actions and inactions of its political leaders. Not long after, there was a collapse of government authority that pushed the country to the brink of (and in some places actually into) civil war and anarchy. Today, China is, for the most part, peaceful, prospering, and proud. This is the China that was on display for the world to see during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The CCP maintains a firm grip on power through a combination of popular support largely based on its recent record of promoting rapid economic growth and harsh repression of political opposition. Yet, the party and country face serious challenges on many fronts, including a slowing economy, environmental desecration, pervasive corruption, extreme inequalities, and a rising tide of social protest. Politics in China is an authoritative introduction to how the world's most populous nation and rapidly rising global power is governed today. Written by leading China scholars, the book's chapters offers accessible overviews of major periods in China's modern political history from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, key topics in contemporary Chinese politics, and developments in four important areas located on China's geographic periphery: Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
A plethora of new actors has in recent years entered China's environmental arena. In Western countries, the linkages and diffusion processes between such actors often drive environmental movements. Through a study of Chinese anti-incineration contention, this book investigates how the different contentious actors in China's green sphere link up and what this means for environmental contention. It addresses questions such as: What lies behind the notable increase of environmental protests in China? And what are the potentials for the emergence of an environmental movement? The book shows that a complex network of ties has emerged in China's environmental realm under Hu Jintao. Affected communities across the country have connected with each other and with national-level environmentalists, experts and lawyers. Such networked contention fosters both local campaigns and national-level policy advocacy. Beyond China, the detailed case studies shed light on the dynamics behind the diffusion of contention under restrictive political conditions.
This successor volume to China beyond the Headlines takes the reader even farther beyond the "front stage" to explore a China few Westerners have seen. Seeking to bridge the gap between what specialists understand and the general public believes, the contributors challenge readers to move past the usual images of China presented by the media and to think about shared problems. In an entirely new set of essays, they explore such critical issues as environmental degradation, nationalism, unemployment, film and literature, news reporting, the Internet, sex tourism, and the costs of the economic boom to vividly portray the complexity of life in contemporary China and how surprisingly often it speaks to the American experience.
The keys to global business success, as taught by a T-shirt'sjourney The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy is acritically-acclaimed narrative that illuminates the globalizationdebates and reveals the key factors to success in global business.Tracing a T-shirt's life story from a Texas cotton field to aChinese factory and back to a U.S. storefront before arriving atthe used clothing market in Africa, the book uncovers the politicaland economic forces at work in the global economy. Along the way,this fascinating exploration addresses a wealth of compellingquestions about politics, trade, economics, ethics, and the impactof history on today's business landscape. This new printing of thesecond edition includes a revised preface and a new epilogue withupdates through 2014 on the people, industries, and policiesrelated to the T-shirt's life story. Using a simple, everyday T-shirt as a lens through which toexplore the business, economic, moral, and political complexitiesof globalization in a historical context, Travelsencapsulates a number of complex issues into a single identifiableobject that will strike a chord with readers as they: Investigate the sources of sustained competitive advantage indifferent industries Examine the global economic and political forces that explaintrade patters between countries Analyze complex moral issues related to globalization andinternational business Discover the importance of cultural and human elements ininternational trade This story of a simple product illuminates the many complexissues which businesspeople, policymakers, and global citizens aretouched by every day.
The third edition of Understanding Contemporary China retains all the useful features of the previous editions, but has been thoroughly updated to reflect such current issues and challenges as China?s dynamic economic growth; its changing social and political culture; its growing international presence as a mediator, investor, and disburser of foreign aid; recent developments in the standoff with Taiwan; and the ever growing impact of environmental degradation.Assuming no prior knowledge on the part of the reader, the book was designed as a core text for ?Introduction to China? courses and can also be used effectively in a variety of discipline-oriented curriculums (especially political science and sociology). Numerous maps and photographs enhance the text.
State of the World 2006 provides a special focus on China and India and their impact on the world as major consumers of resources and polluters of local and global ecosystems. The report explains the critical need for both countries to "leapfrog" the technologies, policies, and even the cultures that now prevail in many western countries for the sake of global sustainability—and reports on some of the strategies that China and India are starting to implement. Besides the focus on China and India, State of the World 2006 looks at actions corporations can take to be more socially responsible; examines the potential socioeconomic, health, and environmental implications of nanoscale technologies; assesses the impacts of large-scale development of biofuels on agriculture and the environment; describes mercury sources, industrial uses, and health hazards worldwide; and provides an overview of the need to safeguard freshwater ecosystems, with examples of proven approaches in cities, villages, and farming regions around the world.

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