Networks of Contention – Linkages and Diffusion Processes in China’s Environmental Protests
Maria Bondes (FU Berlin)
With the growing urgency of China’s environmental crisis, a plethora of non-state actors has entered China’s green sphere that now comprises environmental organizations, experts, lawyers, green journalists, and local communities fighting for a healthy living environment. In Western societies, it is the linkages and diffusion processes between these groups that drive social movements. In China, environmental contention has largely been regarded as localized and parochial with local communities isolated from each other and external assistance.
Drawing on field research and a comparative case study approach, this lecture investigates resistance against waste incinerators, a main cause of environmental conflict in China. The lecture shows that a network of contention has emerged that links up local communities across the country with supra-local actors in the issue field. These linkages and diffusion processes have fostered a national protest wave, enhance the success of individual campaigns and have strengthened a globally-embedded advocacy network for more sustainable waste policies. Nonetheless, the prospects for a full-grown social movement remain limited within the restrictive political framework. The lecture also tackles the difficulties of using an ethnographic approach to studying contention in China.
Maria Bondes is a Guest Lecturer at the Institute of Chinese Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research centers on state-society relations, contentious politics and environmental governance in China with a focus on environmental contention.
Zeit & Ort
06.01.2022 | 12:00 - 14:00