Luring the elephants back? Eco-civilization and the pressure for green urban development in Hangzhou

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

This paper asks how local green development is stimulated through new governance instruments in Hangzhou. The paper argues that the eco-civilization framework has become an overarching concept for green or sustainable development, i.e. to restore order and balance to the Chinese ecology to safeguard future generations. The paper updates previous work on eco-civilization construction and governance innovations in Hangzhou. The local field is increasingly politicized in response to central policies, and the room for local maneuvering is becoming increasingly regulated. Generally, the Party and state system seems to be taking more control of itself as an organization and of its agents to promote green development. The local green regulations are becoming increasingly specific and more and more measurable, and a new public management system with performance reviews and results management procedures based on key performance indicators and with assessments by the public are meant to improve policy implementation, also in the environmental field. It is observed how the city authorities respond to central and popular pressure by opening up to these through external participation and assessment. This approach is seen as a key instrument to stimulate policy compliance and enhance government transparency and public accountability. However, the system of implementation still needs improvement, especially with regard to evidence based assessments of progress, compliance and effectiveness in the eco-civilization field. The available evidence does however indicate that this approach has had some effect on narrowing the implementation gap in environmental politics.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date28 May 2017
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2017
EventShanghai Forum: Asia and the World: New Impetus, New Structure and New Order - Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Duration: 27 May 201729 May 2017


ConferenceShanghai Forum
LocationFudan University
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - China, Eco-civilization, green development, red line for ecological protection, urban green governance, performance reviews, Hangzhou

ID: 180636597