"Environmental Non-Government Organisations in China since the 1970s"

Fei Sheng | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Fei Sheng. “Environmental Non-Government Organisations in China since the 1970s.” International Review of Environmental History, 1 (2015): 81-101. doi: 10.22459/IREH.01.2015.

The expansion of environmental non-government organisations (ENGOs) in the past two decades has been perhaps the most conspicuous phenomenon in the recent history of civil society in China. Many factors promoted the early development of ENGOs in China: the political reform of government, the defects of environmental governance, public worries about environmental problems, international interaction, and the efforts of influential elites. In recent years, ENGOs have been further boosted by the change of public ideas about the environment, the professionalisation of ENGOs, the development of the internet, and increasing environmental deterioration. Nevertheless, Chinese ENGOs are facing four major challenges: economic difficulty, low levels of specialisation, interior estrangement, and grass-roots isolation. Chinese ENGOs are not hesitant to expose environmental problems or to criticise what they perceive as negligent protection by government. However, confined by traditional culture and current political institutional arrangements, ENGOs abstain from radical confrontation with government. While Chinese environmental problems remain serious in the long term, the development of ENGOs in China is hopeful because younger generations are more actively taking part in environmental protection and a further political reform is progressing. (Text from author’s abstract)

International Review of Environmental History takes an interdisciplinary and global approach to environmental history, across different methodologies, nations, and time-scales. It recognizes the importance of locality in understanding global processes and publishes on all thematic and geographic topics of environmental history, especially encouraging articles on and from the “global south.” It is edited by James Beattie and published by ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

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