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Rui, "China's fragmented political structure and the effect on environmental policy enforcement---on the water pollution control in the tributaries in the Three Gorges Reservoir area," 2008

USC Dissertation in East Asian Area Studies.
August 30, 2009
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Min Rui, Ph.D.

Abstract (Summary)
China's rapid economic growth has led to severe environmental degradation. Despite numerous laws, regulations, and policies to regulate and direct the country's environmental performance, the enforcement of these policies and regulations has been far from effective.

Why has China been unsuccessful in implementing environmental policies and regulations? This thesis emphasizes the importance of China's fragmented structure of governance as the crucial explanatory variable and examines the major features of this structure. Using an analysis of the water pollution control in the Liangtan River, one of the major tributaries in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, as a case study, this thesis concludes that the lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities of different governmental agencies, the poor inter-agency coordination and cooperation, and the strong local protectionism all reveal the disadvantages that stem from the fragmented authoritarian political system, which hinders the control of water pollution in the Three Gorges Reservoir area.

Advisor: Rosen, Stanley
Committee members: Lynch, DanielTang, Shui-yan

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