Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

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China: Seeking transparency in a smoggy climate

Yeling Tan

Yeling Tan, Harvard Kennedy School

By Jane Whitehead.  Media reports of the worst air pollution ever recorded in China’s capital Beijing, over the weekend of January 12-13 2013, have added urgency to a question that shadows China’s economic rise: how will the evolving Chinese state balance economic growth with increasing social pressure for better environmental management?

Yeling Tan offers clues to possible answers in her article  “Transparency without Democracy: The Unexpected Effects of China’s Environmental Disclosure Policy,” recently published by Governance. FREE ACCESS to the article.  Conventional wisdom, said Tan in an interview, “is that transparency, accountability and democracy all move in the same direction.”

Her article re-examines the relationship among these concepts in the non-democratic context of contemporary China, and highlights some unexpected routes to improved outcomes, like pressure from multinational corporations (MNCs) that now use pollution data to monitor their Chinese suppliers. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by governancejournal

January 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

Posted in Profile


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