Environmental governance and rural public participation in China
China Information: a journal on contemporary China studies
This article investigates participatory environmental management in rural China. It first summarizes the extent, role and key drivers of public participation in environmental politics in China. It then investigates main scenarios of interaction between the Chinese public and the state, in order to assess the array of possibilities for political participation in environmental matters. This comparative study of public participation in environmental management focuses on grass-roots initiatives that point to increasing public enthusiasm for policymaking processes. The article concludes that participatory practices have impacted significantly upon environmental governance by facilitating implementation and bettering policy and, to a certain extent, legitimizing the discretion of environmental protection agencies. The article also indicates that grass-roots deliberative participation has successfully achieved its goal of improving the provision of social services and public goods. While the government’s initial approach was to improve policy implementation without triggering political contestation, at grass-roots level this strategy has created a sense of political awareness.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is freely available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 30 no. 2, pp. 188-208