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The Emergence of Collaborative Environmental Governance in Taiwan: A Changing Landscape of Environmental Politics

Shie, Y; (2012) The Emergence of Collaborative Environmental Governance in Taiwan: A Changing Landscape of Environmental Politics. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis is inspired by the newly emergent phenomenon of participatory environmental management that has mushroomed in the post-authoritarian political climate in Taiwan. The phenomenon challenges the existing literature on the systems of government in East Asia, in which the state largely monopolises the policy process, even suggesting that the western experience of a shift from government to governance can be seen to be occurring, at least in the environmental sphere. To examine these issues, the thesis reviews three case studies of collaborative environmental governance in the Kaoping River basin seeking to assess whether they have resulted in a meaningful and sustained move towards local environmental democratisation. Both intensive and extensive methods have been used to collect empirical evidence. The former employed in-depth interviews with fifty-three key actors and the latter an extensive examination of reports in local newspapers. More than 2000 news-cuttings, dating from the 1960s to 2010, were examined. The three selected case studies were differentiated according to whom initiated a collaborative approach to environmental governance. Two were endogenous programmes (initiated by citizens) and one an exogenous project (initiated by government officials). The three studies reveal quite different political and managerial processes, levels and kinds of available resources, and sustainability over the long term. The key element in successful collaborative governance is provided by the spontaneous and continuous commitment of local citizens. But whilst the most disadvantaged groups of citizens are able to play active roles in preventing environmental degradation, the state-society partnership is rarely one of equal and mutual benefit, not least because of the reliance of environmental groups on government resources for the expansion and maintenance of their governance activities. More specifically, local political competition between factions can be fatal to collaborative activities, revealing the crucial importance of community consensus before launching such initiatives.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The Emergence of Collaborative Environmental Governance in Taiwan: A Changing Landscape of Environmental Politics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright restricted material has been removed from the e-thesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1356847
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