The Struggle for Sustainability in Rural China: Environmental Values and Civil Society

Overview

Though China's economy is projected to become the world's largest within the next twenty years, industrial pollution threatens both the health of the country's citizens and the natural resources on which their economy depends. Capturing the consequences of this reality, Bryan Tilt conducts an in-depth, ethnographic study of Futian Township, a rural community reeling from pollution.

The industrial township is located in the populous southwestern province of Sichuan. Three local ...

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The Struggle for Sustainability in Rural China: Environmental Values and Civil Society

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Overview

Though China's economy is projected to become the world's largest within the next twenty years, industrial pollution threatens both the health of the country's citizens and the natural resources on which their economy depends. Capturing the consequences of this reality, Bryan Tilt conducts an in-depth, ethnographic study of Futian Township, a rural community reeling from pollution.

The industrial township is 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 the World Health Organization and China's Ministry of Environmental Protection. Interviewing state and company officials, factory workers, farmers, and scientists, Tilt shows how residents cope with this pollution and how they view its effects on health and economic growth. Striking at the heart of the community's environmental values, he explores the intersection between civil society and environmental policy, weighing the tradeoffs between protection and economic growth. Tilt ultimately finds that the residents are quite concerned about pollution, and he investigates the various strategies they use to fight it. His study unravels the complexity of sustainable development within a rapidly changing nation.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

The China Journal - Anna Lora-Wainwright

Tilt's remarkable... timely book, which offers a major contribution to the study of China and environmental governance in the developing world.

China Quarterly - Li Ying

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.

H-Environment - Yan Gao

An important addition to environmental studies of China.

American Anthropologist - Jennifer Hubbert

Struggle for Sustainability has something important to offer a wide audience...its manageable rendering of technical and scientific industrial production and pollution measurement reaches the nonenvironmental specialist; and its lucid prose and compelling ethnographic evidence have the potential to attract a lay readership beyond the environs of academia.

The China Journal
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

China Quarterly
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

H-Environment
An important addition to environmental studies of China.

— Yan Gao

China Quarterly

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

H-Environment

An important addition to environmental studies of China.

— Yan Gao

The China Journal

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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231150019
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesPreface1. Environmental Values, Civil Society, and Sustainability in Post-Reform China2. The Development Imperative3. Saying Farewell to Communal Capital4. The Environmental Costs of Progress5. Pollution, Perceptions, and Environmental Values6. Civil Society and the Politics of Pollution Enforcement7. Struggling for Sustainability8. Conclusion: On ContradictionsAppendix: List of Chinese CharactersWorks Cited

Columbia University Press

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