Keywords: environmental degradation, GDPism, regime transformation, policy innovation, people-centred development, third revolution, China, environmental policy
Regime transformation and environmental policy innovation in China
Chinese economic performance during the reform era has been stellar in terms of several key economic yardsticks. During the early years of post-1978 restructuring this had comfortably overshadowed deterioration and halting progress on other fronts, the ecosystem being one of them. The latter's vulnerability and neglect has attracted closer attention in recent years and strategic responses to the socio-physical strains that have emerged and proliferated have grown in scale and have gathered momentum. It has consequently been argued that a genuine paradigm shift has materialised and that the new framework for societal management is no longer heavily oriented towards wealth accumulation. A significant cognitive adjustment has doubtless taken place, but its extent is a matter of debate and persistent institutional frailties are not consistent with the notion of a far-reaching overhaul of the entire problem-management system.