Skip to content
CSDE News & Events

New Research by Bennett Examines the Role of Chinese NGOs in Environmental Governance

Posted: 11/29/2023 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliate Dr. Mia Bennett (Geography) co-authored research led by her former PhD student, Dr. Xiaofeng Liu, in Eurasian Geography and Economics, titled “Going out and going green: NGOs in the environmental governance of Global China“. While the roles of actors such as the state and state-owned enterprises within “Global China” elicit significant scholarly attention, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are relatively less critiqued. These members of Chinese civil society are playing an increasingly important role in the environmental governance of the country’s overseas activities. By analyzing firsthand observations and interviews and secondhand materials produced by NGOs and the Chinese government, this article traces how and why Chinese NGOs seek to “green” China’s engagement beyond its borders.

First, the authors identify four types of Chinese NGOs with a variety of state- and non-state founders. Then, they examine how NGOs’ objectives and state policies jointly shape the way they “go out.” As both knowledge and political actors, Chinese NGOs accumulate, produce, and disseminate knowledge related to Global China’s environmental issues, across domestic and international spaces. Though the specific strategies pursued by NGOs depend on their type, overall, their alignment with Chinese state policies and interests constitutes a crucial condition for their success. This research offers new insights into Chinese non-state actors’ expanding participation in international activities. As the country’s civil organizations endeavor to exert influence both within and beyond China’s borders, the effects of their interventions on global governance may grow.

Read Full Article