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A Neo-Gramscian Perspective on Varieties of Environmental Governance: Hegemonic Struggles in China’s Rare Earth Industry

Bo, Le (2016) A Neo-Gramscian Perspective on Varieties of Environmental Governance: Hegemonic Struggles in China’s Rare Earth Industry. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This study aims to discuss the changing hegemonic struggles among the state, business and NGOs in the development of environmental governance of China's rare earth industry. Although rare earths are indispensable to myriad clean technologies, mining and processing rare earth ores cause heavy pollution. As the world's largest supplier, China's rare earth industry has developed at huge environmental cost. Environmental pollution in the upstream supply chains of the high-tech and new-energy industries becomes one of the most thorny issues in China's environmental governance. With the critical reviews on the varieties of capitalism approach and the neo-Gramscian governance studies, the study proposes a neo-Gramscian perspective on varieties of environmental governance, through merging a macro-level analysis of institutional diversity with a micro-level understanding of Gramscian hegemonic struggles. In line with an interpretivist stance, the study employs a qualitative case study approach to investigate the institutional variations of the state in China's varieties of governance from a planned economy to a market economy and the changing hegemonic struggles involved, with consideration of the complex historical trajectories and distinctive political economies in China. Based on the empirical evidence collected via semi-structured interviews and documentary reviews, the study carries out a critical discourse analysis to discuss a series of contested environmental issues in China's rare earth industry. Empirical findings conclude that the genres of China's varieties of governance have been transformed from highly prescriptive planning to government supervision, and the state still plays a leading role in regulating and coordinating contemporary alliance building. The study enriches the abstract VoC typologies with China's institutional diversity; extends the Gramsci framework to China‟s regime with particular emphasis of state power; provides a more plural and dynamic understanding of the hegemonic struggles within China's varieties of governance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Centre for Work, Organisation and Society
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Le Bo
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 16:43
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2016 16:43

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