Xiaofan Zhao(1) | Oran R. Young(2) | YeQi(1,5) | Dan Guttman(3,4)
At the close of the last millennium, prominent thinkers projected that the political systems of leading economies would converge during the coming years. Yet, research has shown that China and the United States have developed distinctive institutionalized governance processes (IGPs) to address environmental issues. Can these distinctive processes persist in turbulent times? In reality, the two countries seem to be decoupling in their economic ties and diverging in political pursuit. Under the current circumstances, what can we say about the ability of the two systems to meet emerging environmental challenges of the 21st century? We argue that neither system is likely to experience fundamental change during the foreseeable future. Current developments are highlighting differences between goal-based governance strategies prominent in China and the rule-based strategies of the United States. As the urgency of solving transcendent problems like climate change rises and political tensions grow, it is essential to work with divergent systems to address common problems.
1 | INSTITUTIONALIZED GOVERNANCE PROCESSES IN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES
2 | THE POWER OF INSTITUTIONALIZED GOVERNANCE PROCESSES
2.1 | China: The Xi administration doubles down on dominant environmental governance processes, while there is a parallel movement toward “socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics”
2.2 | United States: Executive authority is not a substitute for law-centered practices; an emerging response features court action to reinterpret existing laws and citizen action to promote a “Green New Deal”
3 | GOAL-BASED AND RULE-BASED GOVERNANCE STRATEGIES IN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES
3.1 | China: Hitting the targets
3.2 | United States: Making and implementing the rules
4 | STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF IGPS IN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES
5 | CONCLUSIONS
1. School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2. Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California (Santa Barbara), Santa Barbara, California, USA 3School of Law, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China
4. Institute of Global Public Policy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
5. Division of Public Policy and Institute for Public Policy, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong
The entire article may be found here and may be subject to a subscription or fee-based download.