Abstract China has been remarkable in achieving extraordinary economic transformation, yet without fundamental political change. To many observers this would seem to imply a weakness in Chinese civil society. However, though the idea of democracy as multitudes of citizens taking to the streets may be attractive, it is simultaneously misleading as it disregards the nature of political change taking place in China today: a gradual shift towards a polity adapted to a pluralist society. At the same time, one may wonder what the limited political space implies for the development of a social movement in China. This book explores this question by focusing on one of the most active areas of Chinese civil society: the environment.
China’s Embedded Activism argues that China’s semi-authoritarian limitations on the freedom of association and speech, coupled with increased social spaces for civic action, have created a milieu in which social activism occurs in an embedded fashion. The semi-authoritarian atmosphere is restrictive of, but paradoxically also conducive to, nationwide collective action with less risk of social instability and repression at the hand of the governing elite.
Rich in case studies about green activism and environmental civic organizations in China, and written by a team of international experts on social movements, NGOs, democratization, and civil society, this book addresses a wide readership of students, scholars and professionals interested in development, geography and environment, political change, and contemporary Chinese society. The famous architect Rem Koolhaas about “China’s Embedded Activism”. Read the interview [PDF - Dutch only]
Abstract This book examines the opportunities and constraints of environmental leapfrogging in Asia by zooming in on several country cases: China, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan. The world has witnessed the profound transformation of China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore from impoverished developing regions into strong and internationally competitive economies. However, it has become obvious that their rapid development has come at a price. Contrary to their economic successes, these Asian economies have been much less successful in terms of ecological sustainability and environmental protection. Mega-cities, such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Ho Chi Minh City suffer from increased air pollution, traffic congestion and a boom in the generation of solid waste. The rapid industrialisation poses a dual challenge to the state. "Doing it right the first time" - by installing clean technologies, developing the institutional capacity and the appropriate governance style to enforce environmental regulations - could lead to "leapfrogging", the development process and building industrial economies that are both competitive and more sustainable than economies with an older industrial base.
Peter Ho, Dit is Chinees voor mij: Zin en onzin over China [PDF] Breda: Uitgeverij De Geus, 1e druk 2007, 2e druk 2008 This monograph provides a detailed overview of the Chinese history, culture, customs and traditions, and recent economic and political developments. It is written in a humorous and accessible manner and will appeal to a wide readership.
Abstract (in Dutch) Over China wordt veel geschreven, veel zin maar ook veel onzin. Dit is Chinees voor mij biedt helder wegwijs in de overvloed aan literatuur over China. Op een rake, en humoristische manier schrijft de China-deskundige Peter Ho over Chinese clichés en misverstanden. Dit boek helpt bij het voorkomen van culturele blunders (“geef nooit een Chinees een klok cadeau”); het onderwijst in de Chinese tafeletiquette (“het drankspel heeft maar één doel: u horizontaal de banketzaal uit te krijgen”); en het geeft leuke informatie en verhalen over de Chinese geschiedenis, taal, en cultuur. Heeft u een Chinees adoptiekind, of bent u een toerist of zakenman die binnenkort naar China reist? Dit vlotgeschreven boek is een echte aanrader voor iedereen met belangstelling voor China.
Peter Ho (ed.), Greening Industries in Newly Industrializing Countries: Asian-style leapfrogging? London: Paul Kegan, 2007 Abstract This book deals with the critical question: how can the state effect the greening of industries and business without inhibiting economic growth? Some scholars have argued that Newly Indudstrializing Economies (NIEs) are situated at an unique juncture: they have an unparalleled opportunity to find different development paths and in so doing to provide models that other countries could follow. Put simply, “doing it right the first time” – by installing clean, efficient technologies, developing the institutional capacity, and the appropriate governance style – could lead to “leapfrogging” the development process and building industrial economies that are both competitive and more sustainable than those of economies with an older industrial base. This edited volume probes into this issue by examining case-studies from China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore. It is argued that the NIEs are not truly situated in a more favourable position that allows leapfrogging in the greening of industries. This book will be of interest to students of development studies, and contemporary Asia, and will also address a wide readership of professionals and consultants in various state institutions and international development agencies.
Contents 1.Green Industries, Clean Environment? China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore Compared [PDF] Peter Ho
This chapter provides an introduction to the contributions in the book. An overview is given of the main issues, debates and concepts on the greening of industries in Newly Industrializing Economies (NIE or NIC) with particular reference to China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore.
2. The Making and Implementation of China's cleaner Production Promotion Law [PDF] Arthur P.J. Mol and Ying Liu
During the 1990’s, cleaner production has been introduced in China, in the beginning especially via development aid projects. This article analyses the making of the Cleaner Production Law and provides a first assessment of the strengths, weaknesses and particularities of the first law on cleaner production.
3. ISO 14001 Adoption and implementation in China [PDF] Katherine Kao Kushing, Heather McGray and Hongyan Lu
This chapter investigates the status of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) standard in China and analyzes key factors influencing adoption by Chinese enterprises. It applies lessons learnt from studying the implementation of China’s mandatory environmental regulations to assess the potential for using this voluntary standard to promote improved environmental performance.
4. The Development of Environmental Industries in China: Pitfalls and Prospects [PDF] Liu Yi, Arthur P.J. Mol and Jining Chen
The environmental industry has been cited as a crucial industrial sector in the ecological modernization of industrializing economies. It develops parallel to an increasing focus on ecological and environmental issues in modernization processes. Notwithstanding its rapid growth in recent years, China’s environmental industry is still immature in comparison with developed countries.
5. Greening through Industrial Relocation in Vietnam: The case of Ho Chi Minh City [PDF] Le Van Khoa and Peter Ho
Industrial pollution problems in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are becoming more and more serious. With more than 28,000 small and medium-scale industries and over 700 large-scale industries that are mainly situated in residential areas environmental protection is becoming a complex challenge to local authorities.
6. Environmental Governance in the Information Technology Sector: The case of Hsinchu, science-based Industrial Park in Taiwan [PDF] Wenling Tu
The technology explosion of the 1980s coupled with the economic boom of the 1990s, led to the rapid worldwide expansion of Information Technology (IT) industry. In Taiwan, Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (HSIP) has been viewed as a successful model to promote the high-tech development that led to profitable production and world-wide marketing high-tech products.
7. Environmentalism in Taiwan: A case of embedded autonomy and ecological modernization? [PDF] Li-Fang Yang
This chapter studies the progression of Taiwan’s environmental reform and how the political economy and social institutions affect this process. This study concludes that ecological modernization is taking place in Taiwan, especially in high-tech sector, led by state technical and economic agents.
8. Zero Landfill, Zero Waste: The Greening of Industry in Singapore [PDF] Josephine Chinying Lang
This chapter reviews how a land-scarce city-state is trying to achieve its goals of zero landfill and zero waste through the greening of industry. The main challenges Singapore confronts in its solid waste management are an increasing volume of industrial waste generated, a shortage of land for landfills, and escalating costs of incineration plants.
Abstract This edited volume argues that China’s development poses the greatest ever challenge for the modern world in terms of speed, size and scarcity. The volume is organized around the greening of the Chinese state and society: can the inclusion of sustainable development principles into governance, management and daily practices by social actors lead to sustainable development per se? The introduction sketches the different scholarly camps around greening and sustainable development, ranging from sceptical to radical environmentalism. The contributions demonstrate that China features a clear greening as new institutions and regulations are created, environmental awareness increases, and green technologies are implemented. However, the question remains whether this is sufficient to effectuate long-term sustainable development. The book moves beyond both alarmist visions of an environmental doomsday, as well as optimistic notions that incremental changes in technology, institutions and lifestyles are sufficient for sustainability. It is argued that ‘precautionary’ rather than ‘absolute’ limits to growth might be necessary in rethinking China’s development.
“This is a fascinating and indispensible book for anyone interested in the environmental impact of China's economic growth.” A. J. Sutter. Read the whole review [PDF].
Peter Ho and Max Spoor (eds.), “Whose Land? The Political Economy of Cadastral Development in Transitional States,” Land Use Policy: A Special Issue, 2006, Vol. 23, No 4., pp. 580-642 (five articles)
Whose Land? The Political Economy of Land Titling in Transitional Economies [PDF], pp. 580-587 Credibility of Institutions: Forestry,Social Conflict and Titling in China [PDF] , pp. 588-603
Abstract Developmental Dilemmas singles out land as an object of study and places it in the context of one of the world's largest and most populous countries undergoing institutional reform: the People's Republic of China. The book demonstrates that private property protected by law, the principle of 'getting-the-prices-right', and the emergence of effectively functioning markets are the outcome of a given society's historical development and institutional fabric. Peter Ho argues that the successful creation of new institutions hinges in part on choice and timing in relation to the particular constellation of societal, economic, political and cultural parameters. Disregarding these could result in rising inequality, bad land stewardship, and the eruption of land-related grievances.
Abstract Due to China’s unclear and insecure property rights structure, real estate developers and local authorities are easily enticed into striking lucrative, yet, illegal deals over land. As a result, farmers can not be certain whether the land they till today will still be theirs tomorrow. Similarly, urban citizens are easily evicted as their traditional siheyuan-houses and “hutong” (lanes) need to make place for high-rising apartment buildings and highways. Land is an essential resource and source of livelihood for small farmers. Moreover, the right to secure property is a basic human right recognized by the United Nations. To date, the Chinese government has been prudent in the restructuring of the legal framework around land. For one thing, the ownership question has to date not been addressed to avoid stirring up the social conflict that affected former East Germany and Poland. However, China’s caution in land reform has not led to a better enforcement of the law. This book deals with the forementioned critical issues of illegal evictions, land disputes, corruption, and ownership in China. It aims to chart a way out of these problems by identifying a new path for the reform of land institutions
Peter Ho's Inaugural Speech as Professor in International Development Studies at Groningen University on 6 December 2005 [PDF in Dutch only]
Abstract Since the late 1970s, China has experienced the most rapid social and economic changes in world history. Over 200 million rural inhabitants were lifted out of absolute poverty and tens of millions became wealthier than the average urban resident. This book offers an authoritative and in-depth analysis of the social and economic changes that have swept through the Chinese countryside. Topics covered include: land tenure and rural labour, social welfare, poverty alleviation, rural resettlement, food security, natural resource management and rural industrialization. Contents 1. Abstract [PDF] 2. Introduction: The Opening up of China's Countryside [PDF] Jacob Eyferth, Peter Ho and Eduard B. Vermeer
3. Regional Differences in Chinese Agriculture: Results from 1997 First National Agricultural Census [PDF] Roberto Fanfani and Christina Brasil
4. Rethinking the Peasant Burden: Evidence from a Chinese Village [PDF] Li Xiande
5. How not to Industrialize: Observations from a village in Sichuan [PDF] Jacob Eyferth
6. Determinants of Income from Wages in Rural Wuxi an Baoding: A Survey of 22 Villages [PDF] Eduard B. Vermeer
7. Wasteland Auction Policy in Northwestern China: Solving Environmental Degradation and Rural Poverty? [PDF] Peter Ho
8. Ningxia's Third Road to Rural Development: Resettlement Schemes as a lLast Means to Poverty Reduction? [PDF] Rita Merkle
9. A Comparative Study of Projection Models on China's Food Economy [PDF] Xiaoyong Zhang
10. Social Welfare in Rural China [PDF] Jutta Hebel
11. Gender Difference in Inheritance Rights: Observations from a Village [PDF] Heather Xiaoquan Zhang
12. Local State Corporatism and Private Business [PDF] Maria Edin
Peter Ho, Jacob Eyferth, and Eduard B. Vermeer (eds.) Rural Development in Transitional China, Journal of Peasant Studies: A Special Issue, Vol. 30, Nos. 3 / 4, April/July 2003, 321 pp.