Environmental protest and civil society in China
McCulloch, Megan L.
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The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appears to have conceded that environmental issues are an area in which people may publicly challenge governmental and commercial actions; however, the movement does not yet appear to have undergone a significant, positive change of scale. This thesis proposes that, as the environmental movement continues to grow in size and legitimacy, the CCP will continue to co-opt these protests, using them to maintain its political monopoly. Yet, the increased dissemination of information may slowly allow China’s civil society to coalesce and reach past local barriers. This research takes a closer look at environmental protests reported over a ten-year timespan, where they occurred, the issues protested, and whether they have affected Chinese society and politics. Due to an inability to access primary sources on Chinese protests, this thesis covers only some of the broad, macro-level trends visible through the lens of these secondary sources. Nevertheless, it concludes that the number of reported incidents of protest is growing, and their influence is felt throughout civil society.
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