The Political Regulation Wave

The Political Regulation Wave : A Case of How Local Incentives Systematically Shape Air Quality in China

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Product details

  • Hardback | 180 pages
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 1009100149
  • 9781009100144

Table of contents

1. Introduction: an inconvenient truth; 2. Theory of the political regulation wave; 3. Local governance in China; 4. The case of sulfur dioxide control; 5. The case of fine particulate matter control; 6. The tradeoffs of the political regulation wave; 7. Conclusion: rethinking governance.
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Review quote

'How China implements environmental policy is one of the critical questions of our times. Shiran Victoria Shen's book breaks new ground in our understanding through the concept of 'political regulation waves.' Using an extraordinary blend of on-the-ground interviews, sophisticated quantitative analysis, and other methods, she illustrates the interplay between central and local officials over time and the tradeoffs at play. Not limited to the Chinese context, she shows how her findings have purchase in democracies and authoritarian systems alike.' Alex Wang, Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, UCLA School of Law 'What Victoria Shen has accomplished is extraordinary. Her analysis looks at a key policy area-cum-existential crisis in China - the environment - and crafts an innovative temporal-based argument on variations in policy enforcement that speaks directly to literatures, approaches, and cases far, far afield from China. She establishes her place among the most innovative young scholars working on policy implementation in China today. Andrew Mertha, George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies and Inaugural Director of the China Global Research Center, Johns Hopkins SAIS 'While the tradeoffs between improvements in environmental quality and economic growth are well understood for western democracies much less is known about autocracies generally and China in particular. Victoria Shen's new detailed study of China's air quality policy and implementation deepens our understanding of this important topic. Shen merges political science and environmental engineering to show how air quality depends dramatically on the incentives of local politicians.' Dean Lueck, Professor of Economics and Director of the Program on Natural Resource Governance at the Ostrom Workshop, Indiana University Bloomington 'Expert warnings about that existential threat that environmental degradation and climate change pose to our way of life has become increasingly more desperate. Scientific solutions are available, but governments have made little progress in implementing them. Shiran Victoria Shen persuasively leverages expertise in the social and physical sciences to demonstrate that a critical political economy issue is that bureaucratic incentives for implementation are not appropriately matched to the specific causes of individual pollutants in authoritarian regimes, particularly China. More broadly, this book is a must read for those interested in a nuanced understanding of bureaucratic politics in authoritarian systems.' Edmund Malesky, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Duke Center for International Development, Duke University
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About Shiran Victoria Shen

Shiran Victoria Shen is a Stanford-trained political scientist and environmental engineer currently based at the Hoover Institution. Her research explores the intersections of political science, public policy, environmental sciences, and engineering, with a particular interest in how local politics influence environmental governance. This is her first book.
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