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Academic & Professional Books  Environmental & Social Studies  Economics, Politics & Policy  Sustainable Development: General

Struggling for Sustainability in Rural China Environmental Values and Civil Society

By: Professor Bryan Tilt
224 pages, Illus
Struggling for Sustainability in Rural China
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  • Struggling for Sustainability in Rural China ISBN: 9780231150019 Paperback Jan 2010 Usually dispatched within 4 days
  • Struggling for Sustainability in Rural China ISBN: 9780231150002 Hardback Jan 2010 Usually dispatched within 4 days
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About this book

Bryan Tilt follows the dramatic economic transition and environmental degradation of contemporary rural China. Though it is believed that China's economy will become the largest in the world within the next twenty years, industrial pollution threatens both the health of China's citizens and the natural resources on which their economy depends. By conducting an in-depth, ethnographic study of a rural Chinese township, Tilt examines the impact of pollution on the lives and livelihoods of the township residents. Tilt's township is an industrial community located in the populous southwestern province of Sichuan. Three local factories - a zinc smelter; a coking plant; and a coal-washing plant - produce air and water pollution that far exceeds the standards set by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection and the World Health Organization.
Interviewing state and company officials, factory workers, farmers, and scientists, Tilt explains how residents cope with this pollution and how they view its effects on health and the growth of their economy. He strikes at the heart of the environmental values of the rural Chinese, exploring the intersection between civil society and environmental policy, and he weighs the tradeoffs between environmental protection and economic growth.

Tilt ultimately finds that residents are concerned about pollution, and he explores the various strategies they use to fight it. His study helps environmental scientists, social scientists, and other scholars and activists understand the complexities of sustainable development in a nation that is rapidly reinventing itself and changing the global economy.


List of Figures List of Tables Preface 1. Environmental Values, Civil Society, and Sustainability in Post-Reform China 2. The Development Imperative 3. Saying Farewell to Communal Capital 4. The Environmental Costs of Progress 5. Pollution, Perceptions, and Environmental Values 6. Civil Society and the Politics of Pollution Enforcement 7. Struggling for Sustainability 8. Conclusion: On Contradictions Appendix: List of Chinese Characters Works Cited

Customer Reviews


Bryan Tilt is assistant professor of anthropology at Oregon State University. His research focuses on economic development and environmental protection in China, and he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
By: Professor Bryan Tilt
224 pages, Illus
Media reviews
Tilt's remarkable... timely book, which offers a major contribution to the study of China and environmental governance in the developing world. -- Anna Lora-Wainwright The China Journal 7/1/10 An interesting and illuminating book for scholars who wish to understand the present ecological situation in rural China and the daily conflict between values and actions that confront the local governments and citizens of China. -- Li Ying China Quarterly 9/1/11 An important addition to environmental studies of China. -- Yan Gao H-Environment 1/1/11
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