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From Rebels to Game Players: New Changes in China’s Environmental Activism and Implications for Chinese Environmental Governance

Mar 19th 2018 15:30

Abstract: In China’s authoritarian context, the grassroots environmental protests, despite their substantial growth in the past decade, have been considered sporadic, issue-specific, and, most importantly, difficult to transform into long-term social movement or advocacy efforts with substantive policy and even political impacts. But emerging empirical evidence from such fields as municipal solid waste disposal and industrialized pollution control suggests that community-based and even pollution victim protests can turn into more organized and policy-oriented citizen activism engaging in environmental governance at local and even national levels. I will use two active Environmental NGOs, based in Guangzhou and Suzhou respectively, directly originated from community level protests as case studies to examine what factors facilitate the ‘scale-up’ of grassroots activism in China? How and to what degree does such newly developed civic engagement influence Chinese environmental governance considerably dominated by the government?

Dr. Lin Peng