Origins and Evolution of Environmental Policies
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Origins and Evolution of Environmental Policies

State, Time and Regional Experiences

Edited by Tadayoshi Terao and Tsuruyo Funatsu

This unique book traces the origins and evolution of environmental policy formation, comparing the differences in this process between developing and developed countries. It focuses on the importance of the state’s role and issues of timing and sequence in the creation of environmental policies.
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Chapter 3: Path dependence in environment and health policy development in China: a historical review on the early stage

Kenji Otsuka


This study focuses on the early stage of policy development on environmental and health issues in China to find a path dependence of its development that might have hampered environmental and health policies for more than two decades. First, China might have missed prioritizing health issues in environmental policy unintentionally when it sought a comprehensive and coordinated organization responding to environmental pollution. Second, confronting the dilemma between development and the environment, the slogan for the unification of economic, social, and environmental interests that was raised at the National Second Conference on Environmental Protection seems to have made an alternative explanation fade out, by focusing on “social interests,” a term that includes the significance of human health and well-being. Third, the administrative leaders engaging in environmental protection shared the recognition of the limited capacity of the national economy and technology of China, as a developing country.

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