Governing carbon: China in global climate politics

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Fang, Szu-hung (2012)
  • Subject: QC0990.C6

The aim of this thesis is to examine the dynamics of China’s engagement with global\ud climate change. After critically reviewing mainstream neo-realist and neo-liberal\ud institutionalist approaches to International Relations and climate change, the thesis\ud develops a revised governmentality framework based on a critical engagement with\ud critical IPE and Foucauldian approaches. This provides the basis for an analytical\ud framework focusing on four distinct ‘rationalities of government’ in China’s climate\ud change politics and governance, which are sovereignty, development, market and the\ud environment. The genealogical examination of these four governmental rationalities has\ud demonstrated the dynamics among them and the relations of state/society/party in\ud China. By applying this analytical framework, the thesis critically examines two\ud distinctive fields of China’s climate change politics: international politics and the Clean\ud Development Mechanism in China. The thesis argues that although neo-liberal\ud governmentality appears dominant in global climate politics, the case study of China\ud reveals different dynamics in which the rationalities of sovereignty and development\ud have played the more influential roles. By contrast, the market rationality has been\ud instrumentalised in China for the pursuit of economic growth and the environmental\ud rationality has been marginalised. The thesis contends that the uneven relations among\ud these rationalities have to be grasped through historical and contextual exploration.\ud Different paths and mentalities of state formation and modernisation have had\ud significant influences on China’s politics and governance of climate change in both\ud international and domestic levels. The findings from this research help to explain the\ud changes and continuities in China’s positions in international climate negotiations, in its\ud regulation of the carbon market, and in the formation of climate knowledge and\ud mentalities under the rule of the Communist Party
  • References (225)
    225 references, page 1 of 23

    1. Introduction: Rethinking China in Global Climate Politics ……......5 Research Objectives ……………………………………………………………….8 Analytical Framework …………………………………………………………...10 Research Method and Fieldwork in China ……..………………………………14 Structure of the Thesis ……………………………..………………………….....17

    2. Theoretical Review: International Politics of Climate Change and China's Climate Politics ………………………………………….....23 2.1 Neo-Realism/Neo-Realism ………………………………................................26 2.2 Neo-liberal Institutionalism ……………………………………………….....38 2.3 Social Constructivism ………………………………………………………...54 2.4 Critical International Political Economy …………………………………...64 2.5 Foucauldian Approach …………………………………………………….....79 2.6 Towards a Framework for Analysis …………………………………………88

    3. Governmental Rationalities Underpinning China's Foreign and Domestic Politics and Governance of Climate Change …….……..98 3.1 Sovereignty ………………………………………………………………….....104 3.2 Development ……………………………………………………………….......108 3.3 Market ……………………………………………………………………….....113 3.4 Environment ……………………………………………………………….......118 3.5 State, Society and the Party in China ……………………………………......124 3.6 Governmental Rationalities Facing the Politics of Climate Change …….....129 3.7 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………......134

    4. China and International Climate Change Politics ………………..137 4.1 Global Climate Change Politics: From Kyoto to Copenhagen …………...139 4.1.1 The Politicisation of Global Climate Change …………………………………...141 4.1.2 From Kyoto to Copenhagen …………………………………………………….146 4.2 Development of China's Foreign Politics ………..…….…………………..150 4.3 China's Responses to International Climate Politics …………………......156 4.3.1 The Evolution of China's Foreign Politics of Climate Change ………………....159 4.3.2 International Climate Cooperation ……………………………………………...175

    5. The Clean Development Mechanism in China ……………………191 5.1 Clean Development Mechanism in the Tide of the Global Carbon Market …………………………………………………………………….................194 5.2 CDM in Question: Market V.S. Sustainable Development ……………….199 5.3 The Carbon Market in China ………………………………………………204 5.3.1 Governing the Environment in China ……………………………………………204 5.3.2 Facing the Threats of Climate Change and the Introduction of the CDM..............208 5.3.3 The CDM with Chinese Characteristics ………………………………………….212 5.3.4 Problems of the CDM in China …………………………………………………..217 5.4 Conflicting Rationalities? Practices and Mentality of the CDM in China ..........................................................................................................................221 5.5 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………...236

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