Protest and Social Movements in the Developing World

Protest and Social Movements in the Developing World

Edited by Shinichi Shigetomi and Kumiko Makino

In this insightful book, the contributors focus on the impact of contextual factors on social movements in the developing world, pushing major existing theories beyond their traditional focus.

Chapter 4: Strategies for Fragmentary Opportunities and Limited Resources: The Environmental Protest Movement under Communist China in Transition

Kenji Otsuka

Subjects: development studies, development studies


Kenji Otsuka INTRODUCTION China, during its long history, has experienced numerous cycles of grassroots movements and their repression by governing authorities. In the twenty-first century, China continues to maintain a socialist (communist) state, while shifting its socio-economical system from a planned economy to a market economy. Under the communist regime undertaking the transition towards a market economy, it is a challenging task for people to protest and act against the dominant regime in securing basic human rights. Despite government efforts to establish an environmental policy over the last 30 years since the 1970s, environmental issues are becoming serious social problems. Protests by civilian groups against damage caused by environmental pollution, or plans for development that are feared to cause future environmental pollution and destruction in China, are on the increase. Since the 1990s, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in environmental movements have emerged despite continued social control exercised by the Communist Party and the government. Concerning environmental issues in China, only a few articles covering protest movements by local people have been published (Shi and Cai 2006; Zhang 2006, 2007), even though there are already a considerable number of studies on environmental NGO activities (Saich 2000; Ho 2001; Otsuka 2002; Economy 2004; Turner and Lü 2006; Yang 2005). Among the large variety of environmental NGOs in China, most have avoided touching on human rights issues that are considered sensitive to the party and the government. It should be noted, however, that some NGOs have played 79 80 Structure behind political opportunities...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information