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Decision-Maker-Oriented VS. Collaboration: China’s Public Participation in Environmental Decision-Making

Lu Feng (), Qimei Wu (), Weijun Wu () and Wenjie Liao ()
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Lu Feng: School of Law, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
Qimei Wu: Judicial Bureau of Tongchuan District, Dazhou 635000, China
Weijun Wu: School of Public Affairs and Administration, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
Wenjie Liao: Institute of New Energy and Low-Carbon Technology, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 4, 1-1

Abstract: Public participation in environmental decision-making (EDM) has been broadly discussed. However, few recent studies in English have focused on the participation subject, scope, ways, and procedure in the EDM of developing countries such as China in the worldwide governance transformation. This study aims to provide an overview of public participation in EDM in China, thus elucidating both the legislation and practice of public participation in EDM in China to a broader audience, as such an overview has not yet been provided. At the beginning of this article, we clarify the key definitions of EDM, public participation and the public, and establish an analytical framework for analyzing public participation in EDM in China. We analyze the scope of the public, the participation scope, ways of participating, and participation procedure in EDM in legislation and practice, through document analysis and empirical survey. We then comment on challenges for public participation in EDM in China—including low public participation in EDM, narrow scope of participation, unbalanced ways of participation, and unreasonable participation procedure. In conclusion, we draw wider implications for public participation in EDM in China, arguing for a transformation from a decision-maker-oriented mode to a collaboration mode.

Keywords: environmental decision-making; public participation; decision-maker-oriented; collaboration; governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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