Keywords: China, environmental negotiated agreements, contextual interaction theory, environmental management, environmental responsibility targets, municipal environmental committees, Green GDP index, local government
The feasibility of environmental negotiated agreements in China
Environmental negotiated agreements have been practiced in some industrialised countries for decades, but still appear a new option to Chinese policymakers and implementers. To answer the question whether their introduction into China's environmental management regime is feasible, this paper develops a three-layer analysis scheme based on previous research and applies it to China. We theoretically argue that a country's background context influences the formation of network relationships and institutions, which shape the relevant individual actor's motivation, perceptions and resource availability in many aspects. Empirically, we find China has some rather favourable environmental, political, economical and cultural backgrounds to accept NA. Three institutional mechanisms affect the governments' motivation at the network level: the environmental responsibility target system, municipal environmental committees and the Green GDP index system. In a case analysis, we find that the local government is still not fully motivated to mobilise their resources due to the experimental features of the agreement.