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The Authoritarian Logic of Regulatory Pluralism: Understanding China's New Environmental Actors

Regulation & Governance, 2014, Forthcoming

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-26

33 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2014 Last revised: 3 Dec 2014

Benjamin van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Rachel E. Stern

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Jurisprudence & Social Policy

Kathinka Furst

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 21, 2014

Abstract

Over the last decade, Chinese citizens, NGOs, judges and prosecutors have started to take action against industrial pollution, pluralizing the regulatory landscape originally occupied by administrative agencies. Regulatory pluralism here has an authoritarian logic, occurring without the retreat of party-state control. Under such logic, the party-state both needs and fears new actors for their positive and negative roles in controlling risk and maintaining stability. Consequently, the regime’s relation to regulatory pluralism is ambivalent, shifting between support and restriction. This prevents a development of a regulatory society that could bypass the regulatory state. Theoretically, this paper argues for a subjective definition of regulation in a context of pluralism. Moreover, it finds that regulatory pluralism need not coincide with a decentring of regulation. Finally, it highlights how entry onto the regulatory landscape affects the non-regulatory roles of new actors, creating unintended consequences for regulatory pluralism.

Suggested Citation

van Rooij, Benjamin and Stern, Rachel E. and Furst, Kathinka, The Authoritarian Logic of Regulatory Pluralism: Understanding China's New Environmental Actors (March 21, 2014). Regulation & Governance, 2014, Forthcoming; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2413872

Benjamin Van Rooij (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Rachel Stern

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Jurisprudence & Social Policy ( email )

School of Law
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2150
United States

Kathinka Furst

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

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