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ItemBeyond red and gold: environmental governance in ChinaWang, Qing Jie ( 2004)This thesis is concerned with the question as to how China governs its environment. It focuses on the process and manner of managing the country's environmental affairs in which the actors include but transcend government, encompassing the whole of society. The study offers a pragmatic diagnosis of environmental governance (EG) within the Chinese context, giving unique insights to the EG problem with an in-depth analysis of its root causes, and hence devising alternative ways for endeavours to protect the environment to be assessed and thought about. Due to the nature of the research question and the reality of EG in China, the research methodology is based on a case study, associated with documentary and interview approaches. To conduct the research diagnosing Chinese EG status, three concrete steps were taken, comprising an initial theoretical framework and finally an analysis of a case study and its ongoing activities and subsequent outcomes. In between, an elaboration of the multiple Chinese contexts for EG are presented, i.e., key political, social and economic aspects, and institutional and administrative developments for governing the environment in China together with non-state variables in relation to governance practice. At the theoretical level, this thesis is informed by the academic literature of contemporary studies on governance in terms of conceptualising EG. A new EG theorisation is constructed, which converts the holistic nature of EG research into a conceptualisation including seven key elements, namely: accommodation, predictability, accountability, participation, communication, transparency, and specialisation (scientific expertise), all in combination with country-specific considerations of political, administrative and socio-economic contexts. Through a case study, the EG process is revealed through newspaper reports, wenjian (official documents) and interviews. The case study is based on a landmark January 2000 event in relation to the Nanjiang Industrial Park in Sihui, a county city located in the Pearl River Delta Region of the Chinese Province of Guangdong. The Sihui case, which provided an example of 'one step ahead of the whole country' in terms of publicity through news media reporting, suggests that some progress has been made in certain aspects of China's environmental governance, albeit without a guarantee of everlasting duration. However, the overall result of the Sihui case sends discordant and mixed signals for diagnosing the status of environmental governance in China. Of equal importance, as shown in the Sihui case, is that the process between the hierarchical government and the rest of society was far from being interactive, but highlights too great a reliance on the government. Considered together, the thesis concludes that there are strong indications that complications exist within China's environmental governance. EG practice in China appears to be mired in political constraints, social dysfunction and exclusion, and is too rigidly driven by the obsessive consideration of economic imperatives.
ItemChina’s intra-rural migration and its influence on rural modes of production: a case study of Lian Hua Village, Hunan provinceHuang, Zuyu ( 2019)This thesis aims to understand how intra-rural migration is associated with changes to the production activities of migrants in rural China. Extant research on intra-rural migration is highly limited. Moreover, the majority of studies on migration were conducted from an individual or household perspective and fail to directly reveal the influence of migration on rural production. In order to provide more evidences of intra-rural migration and its influence on rural production of migrants, this thesis tries to address three research questions: 1. What changes occurred in the production activities in which migrants partake? 2. What factors prompted migrants to escape their previous production activities and initiate emerging production activities? 3. How did intra-rural migration connect the escape and initiation process? This thesis examines intra-rural migration with a focus on changes to the production activities of migrants and posits that intra-rural migration influences rural production activities of migrants by mediating their access to production factors and changing production conditions they faced. This thesis primarily uses qualitative methods to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews and direct observation was utilised in a case study of Lian Hua Village which is situated in Hunan Province. This thesis finds that intra-rural migration helps destroy the persistence of self-sufficient production activities remained in rural areas in post-reform China, and post-migration production activities of intra-rural migrants are capitalised from whichever aspect of their production. Separation of labour and the means of production and combination of labour and capital are the ultimate reasons prompting capitalisation of production activities of intra-rural migrants. Intra-rural migration acts as a bridge connecting the process of separation and combination. It is concluded that intra-rural migration leads to rural capitalisation and proletarianisation, and that rural labour chases capital. Both are important yet neglected means of realising the transformation of modes of production in rural China.
ItemMoney, markets and hydropower: Chinese dam construction in AfricaHAN, XIAO ( 2017)This thesis aims to clarify the formation of goals, practices and consequences of Chinese outward investment, through the lens of the Chinese government’s and corporations’ engagement in African dam construction. To achieve this aim, three research questions are addressed: 1 how do Chinese actors form their goals in investing in African dam construction? 2 how are the Chinese practices in Africa related to these goals? and 3 what are the consequences of the Chinese practices? Considering China’s (re-)emergence in the neoliberal world, this thesis probes Chinese overseas investment with an eye to their spending of money, energy and time; and posits the Chinese government and corporations as both central to address the research aim. Starting from a genealogy of the shaping of the Chinese dam construction industry, this thesis applies a technopolitical approach to disentangling the historical, technical, political, social and environmental complexity associated with dams and proceeds with a life cycle analysis of a specific project in Africa, which is financed and built by Chinese actors – the Bui dam construction in Ghana. Informed by qualitative data collected from open sources and fieldwork mainly in Beijing, Accra and Bui, the thesis finds that investing in African dam construction, the Chinese government and corporations have divergent priorities but interlocking goals, but the formations of the goals of Chinese actors affect each other; and that although their practices are mainly informed by their goals, the Chinese activities overseas are affected and challenged by the interplay with external technocratic and political influences which sometimes lead to uncertain consequences. Therefore, the Chinese overseas investment is an artefact of the world’s geographically uneven process of neoliberalization, which at the project level reflects not merely a matter of “China” or the “Chinese”, but of the sophisticated interweaving of relations and interactions between the Chinese, international and the recipient country actors, evolving in a path-dependent way.