Capacious Capacity: Conceptualizing the State in Chinese Environmental Governance

online via zoom or at Humboldt University Berlin, Invalidenstr. 118
Mon 15 July 2024 18:15 - 19:45 (CET)

State capacity is easily one of the most protean concepts in Chinese environmental governance, embodying a seemingly unequivocal virtue while harboring diverse interpretations. In this presentation, Yifei Li first proposes a typology of environmental state capacity and then draws from his empirical observations of nearly two dozen environmental or climate capacity-building programs from 2012 to 2023 in China. Finally, the presentation concludes with a discussion of the mismatch between the supply of capacity-building offerings and the demand for specific capacities from low-level officials. The supply-demand mismatch has significant implications for environmental governance in China.


Yifei Li is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at NYU Shanghai and Global Network Assistant Professor at NYU. His research concerns various groups of people under China’s brand of state-led environmentalism. He has received research support from the United States National Science Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, Rachel Carson Center, and many other extramural sources. He is the lead author (with Judith Shapiro) of China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet (Polity, 2020). His recent work appears in Current Sociology, Qualitative Sociology, Sociology of Development, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Environmental Sociology, Journal of Environmental Management, and other scholarly outlets. His work has been featured on NPR, in The Economist, Foreign Affairs, Le Monde, and other media.


The event will take place at: Humboldt University Berlin, Institute for Asian and African Studies, room 315, Invalidenstraße 118, Berlin

Online attendance is possible via Zoom. Registration: https://hu-berlin.zoom-x.de/meeting/register/u5IrdOqhrz4rG9f79OJZtj-ZkZcrSYBSMbCu

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