Governing the Commons in China

1st Edition

Yan Zhang

Routledge
Published January 23, 2017
Reference - 268 Pages - 11 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138696693 - CAT# Y286936
Series: Routledge Studies on the Chinese Economy

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Summary

The idea of 'the commons' is a long-standing concept in the English-speaking world and in English law. A similar concept occurs in China. How different from or similar to the English idea of ‘the commons’ is the idea in China; and how is the concept applied? This book explores this important subject. It examines the subject from a philosophical and theoretical perspective; considers ‘the commons’ widely, including tangible commons of resources, intangible commons of culture, identity and social capital, and institutional commons of welfare, security and public goods; and goes on to examine the concept as it applies to the hydropower developments along the Lancang River, outlining the different competing interests of local people, central and provincial government, and environmental considerations. It argues that the concept of ‘the commons’ in China is dual-dimensional, with a vertical dimension of ‘public authority’ and a horizontal dimension of ‘commonly sharing’, that power structures in China have often been flexible and polycentric, and that, correctly applied, this approach will do much to serve the common interest of the people, ensuring positive impacts for shared prosperity for multiple stakeholders, whilst mitigating the negative impacts involved in the delivery of such positive impacts.

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