Implementation of environmental policies in urban and rural China - its successes, problems and deficiencies

Organized by Thomas Heberer and Dieter Grunow, University of Duisburg-Essen


Date and Location:




Katholische Akademie "Die Wolfsburg" Falkenweg 6, 45478 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Conference Description

The conference is the concluding part of four years of empirical research the two organizers have conducted in China. This research has taken place in 6 regions. Three of them are cities (Shihezi, Xiamen, Yingko); three of them are counties (Shouguang, Deqing, Nanfeng). The research program - which is financed by the Haniel-Foundation (Duisburg) - also included two visits of Chinese scholars in Germany - visiting sites in Duisburg and North-Rhine Westfalia as well as Brandenburg and Sachsen-Anhalt in East Germany. This strategy of exchange allows for further mutual learning and cooperation.

The main focus of the empirical work can be described as "implementation research". It is a field of study, which is just at the beginning in China. The policy focus is environmental protection. This policy has gained attention in China during the last years, because the fast economic development and the international dimension of the topic.


General topics for the presentation in the conference

  • History of environmental protection (EP) policy development in China and the role of the international policy context
  • History of the development of EP-insitutions in China
  • Case analysis of special/single EP-policies: aims-processes-results (f.e. CO2 emissions)
  • Analysis of local EP-performance (studies like ours - but done in other regions of China)
  • Comparing China with other countries (especially Germany): what are the specifics of the Chinese EP policy making and implementation
  • System in action: how is EP implementation (decentralized and) coordinated vertically (from the center to the village level)
  • System in action: how is EP implementation coordinated horizontally (between different ministries or bureaus; and between the same type of bureaus in other counties, cities, provinces)


Within the discussions some more specific topics might be included:

  • Evaluation principles and practice in the EP governance
  • Evaluation principles and practice for the performance of political leaders
  • Sanctions in EP governance: principles and (missing) practice
  • Media (press, internet) in EP governance
  • Complaint management and its functions in EP governance
  • Public awareness and public protest in EP governance
  • The role of "models" in the development of policy fields (like EP): test procedure; examples of good practise (for replication), or just symbolic politics with some "light houses" (analysis of examples)



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