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NGO participation in geoengineering in the UK and China: a causal study

Xu, C. (2017) NGO participation in geoengineering in the UK and China: a causal study. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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This thesis addresses the issue of why NGOs do or do not become involved in geoengineering (GE) as a policy area in the UK and China. GE refers to the employment of large-scale manipulation to exert an influence on the global environment in order to deal with climate change. Governance of GE is a key issue in the academic literature and public policy. In terms of governance related issues, public participation has been frequently discussed in the existing literature within environmental law and related fields. Among all the stakeholders involved in GE, the issue of NGOs’ participation stands out due to their limited involvement. The thesis is generally based on the literature on public participation in environmental law. Although public participation has long been an interest of study, the literature has paid little attention to the causes of participation. The thesis contributes to the existing literature by way of adding a consideration of why certain groups participate or not in particular areas of environmental law and policy. The main research question of the thesis is ‘why do NGOs participate in GE or not in the UK and China?’ In order to explore the causes of participation, qualitative interviews were employed: notably in-depth interviews were conducted among environmental NGOs in the UK and China. The thesis then employs the literature on social movements and public policy to generate variables for analysing the relevant data. Through analysing the data with variables generated from these literatures, two basic findings were identified: involvement and non-involvement of NGOs in the UK can be considered as intentional and the deliberate outcome of strategic choices; however in v China, only international NGOs make strategic decisions on non-involvement, while domestic Chinese NGOs were unintentionally not involved with GE. In conclusion, the contribution of the thesis is three-fold. It adds to the literature on social movements and public policy by concentrating on whether NGOs make strategic choices on becoming involved in GE or not and why. It also contributes to the future governance framework of GE by understanding what may lead NGOs, as a potentially critical part of this framework, to become involved. Aside from this, the thesis makes a contribution in an empirical way by mapping the picture of NGO involvement with GE in the UK and China.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Hilson, C.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Law
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:75747


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