Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (the Greater China) have been experiencing rapid economic development since the 1970s, and playing different important economic roles in the world; however, they face a familiar dilemma between economic growth and environmental protection. In response to the pressure of urban growth, the governments build up different infrastructures in the communities, such as sewage and transport systems. These infrastructures bring environmental degradation to the communities through inappropriate designs, construction, operation, and management, which are exacerbated by the lack of public consultation in the process of their development. The local citizens demand a sustainable living place and so fight for their right to participate in the development of these infrastructure projects. This project examines the role of participatory environmental governance in infrastructure development. Modern governance theory emphasizes the importance of citizen participation in delivering effective governance. The different regimes in all three case studies in the Greater China - quasi-democratic Hong Kong, authoritarian mainland China, and democratic Taiwan - claim to embrace a commitment to governance. Yet, in practice, infrastructure projects in all three countries have resulted in significant environmental damage. This study will test empirically the claims regarding participatory environmental governance in the decision making process of infrastructure projects. It will examine the state’s capacity to respond to actors from civil society in different regime types among the Greater China. The study will evaluate the different forms that participation takes in the three regime types and assess its influence over the decisions about infrastructure projects.
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2012|