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1 Social Mobilization, Collective Action, and Resistance against Environmental Pollution in 2012

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Chapter Summary

In 2012, a series of public protests against industrial pollution and its resulting environmental health problems became the focus of attention in China. These collective actions were carried out in two modes. In the first mode, victims of pollution and other stakeholders played a leading role in action aimed at protecting environmental rights. Actions carried out in this mode are similar to "not in my back yard" (NIMBY) movements in the West. In the second mode, participants are better organized and have more knowledge about the environment. Environmental mass incidents in the cities of Shifang, Qidong, and Ningbo, are typical cases of the first mode. The year 2012 saw some important changes in the aforementioned collective actions. On the one hand, such actions became more violent and saw more severe clashes between the government and the public. On the other, local governments responded faster.

Keywords: China; collective action; environmental rights; Shifang



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