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Does environmental information transparency lead to more collaborative governance in China? : an analysis of the IPE information database’s function in boundary spanning

Li, Siman LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20161
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
To promote more collaborative sustainable governance processes, environmental information transparency is required at all stages. As an authoritarian country with rapid economic growth, China has faced serious environmental degradations that threaten citizens’ daily life. Over the last two decades, China has witnessed a trend to integrate third parties into environmental governance and an increasing environmental information transparency. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), as a third party institution in China, is building up a database by collecting public environmental information throughout China, and it uses a pressure mechanism through the application of that information. As the only institution that conducts this... (More)
To promote more collaborative sustainable governance processes, environmental information transparency is required at all stages. As an authoritarian country with rapid economic growth, China has faced serious environmental degradations that threaten citizens’ daily life. Over the last two decades, China has witnessed a trend to integrate third parties into environmental governance and an increasing environmental information transparency. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), as a third party institution in China, is building up a database by collecting public environmental information throughout China, and it uses a pressure mechanism through the application of that information. As the only institution that conducts this work in China, IPE is a good example to showcase the impacts of information transparency different social sectors. The focus of this thesis is to analyze how environmental information transparency challenges previous physical, cognitive and social boundaries, and hence constructs a more collaborative governing model in China. By including and excluding social sectors in collaborative governance, information manifests power relation differences among all sectors. Therefore, this thesis further analyzes the power relations and dominant discourse behind this collaborative governance facilitated by information sharing. Official documents, academic research and interviews to IPE employees have been applied for the research of this thesis. It finds that information transparency functions well in terms of integrating companies and citizens in the governance and building trust in the government. However, this collaborative governance is not equal for each sector, and the government is still remaining in a dominant position compared with other sectors. Newly rising economic rationality in environmental governance is accepted as an influential way to tackle environmental pollution from growth. A critical reflection of how increasing information is applied to promote an economic-driven rationality solution, while reducing ranges of citizen involvement, is discussed. A new and alternative public sphere that is constructed by civil societies by digesting environmental information is expected for more equal collaborative governance. (Less)
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author
Li, Siman LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
collaborative governance, sustainability science, information, power relations, China
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:011
language
English
id
8878423
date added to LUP
2016-06-08 11:20:49
date last changed
2016-06-08 11:20:49
@misc{8878423,
  abstract     = {To promote more collaborative sustainable governance processes, environmental information transparency is required at all stages. As an authoritarian country with rapid economic growth, China has faced serious environmental degradations that threaten citizens’ daily life. Over the last two decades, China has witnessed a trend to integrate third parties into environmental governance and an increasing environmental information transparency. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), as a third party institution in China, is building up a database by collecting public environmental information throughout China, and it uses a pressure mechanism through the application of that information. As the only institution that conducts this work in China, IPE is a good example to showcase the impacts of information transparency different social sectors. The focus of this thesis is to analyze how environmental information transparency challenges previous physical, cognitive and social boundaries, and hence constructs a more collaborative governing model in China. By including and excluding social sectors in collaborative governance, information manifests power relation differences among all sectors. Therefore, this thesis further analyzes the power relations and dominant discourse behind this collaborative governance facilitated by information sharing. Official documents, academic research and interviews to IPE employees have been applied for the research of this thesis. It finds that information transparency functions well in terms of integrating companies and citizens in the governance and building trust in the government. However, this collaborative governance is not equal for each sector, and the government is still remaining in a dominant position compared with other sectors. Newly rising economic rationality in environmental governance is accepted as an influential way to tackle environmental pollution from growth. A critical reflection of how increasing information is applied to promote an economic-driven rationality solution, while reducing ranges of citizen involvement, is discussed. A new and alternative public sphere that is constructed by civil societies by digesting environmental information is expected for more equal collaborative governance.},
  author       = {Li, Siman},
  keyword      = {collaborative governance,sustainability science,information,power relations,China},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Does environmental information transparency lead to more collaborative governance in China? : an analysis of the IPE information database’s function in boundary spanning},
  year         = {2016},
}