With the increasing numbers of environmental conflicts in recent years, Chinese local governments are deploying a variety of strategies to address them. Using the method of agreement and the method of difference, this article explores the question of why local governments adopt particular strategies during conflicts over the construction or operation of industrial facilities. The findings reveal that the position of higher-level governments, the costs involved in adapting projects and the threats posed by the form of protest to social stability are important conditions in explaining the differences in the patterns of government strategies. The authoritarian responsiveness that characterises Chinese government strategies results in high political, economic and environmental costs. The big challenge for Chinese governments is to develop policies, institutions and capacities to deal with environmental concerns in a more proactive and balanced way.

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doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2017.1375409, hdl.handle.net/1765/102007
Local Government Studies
Department of Sociology

Li, Y., Koppenjan, J., & Homburg, V. (2017). Governing environmental conflicts: A comparative analysis of ten protests against industrial facilities in urban China. Local Government Studies, 1–22. doi:10.1080/03003930.2017.1375409