This talk discusses the development of social movement and collective action in post-Mao China, and tries to situate environmentalism and environmental protest in this large context. Social movement and collective action in post-Mao China have developed in three overlapping stages. The first stage, between 1976 and 1989, is characterized by the large-scale state-centered protest. The second stage, roughly between 1992 and 2002, is characterized by small-to-medium scale, local, reactive and economic-oriented protest. Environmentalism emerged in this period as a notable exception to this trend. The third stage started around 2002. In this period, rights consciousness greatly increased, and protests turned increasingly proactive and grew a strong populist tendency. Also in this period, environmentalism was largely institutionalized, but not-in-my-backyard type of environmental protest gained momentum. This talk provides an explanation to this pattern of development and speculates on the future trends of collective actions in China.
January 22, 2016 - 5:18pm