Ploberger, Christian (2013). China’s adaptation challenges : a critical assessment of China’s ability to facilitate a strategic shift towards a low-carbon economy by applying the structure–agency framework. Journal of Contemporary China, 22(84), pp. 1028-1047. DOI:10.1080/10670564.2013.795314
China’s reform/opening process has been exceptionally successful at generating lasting economic growth and in lifting millions of people out of absolute poverty. However, this success came at a significant price. Environmental degeneration represents one critical issue. Other serious topics include an increasing income and development gap between and within provinces, and between rural and urban areas. A proposed shift towards a low-carbon economy seems to provide an answer in addressing this complex environmental–development challenge. However, decisions on a future course of action are not made in a political, economic or social vacuum, instead decisions are made in the context of a particular structural environment, which restricts the options available for actors. Applying a structure–agency approach will help to identify and highlight the existing structural challenges inherent within China’s development strategy.
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