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Environment Research Group PhD Seminar: Narrative Methods and Bamboo Policy Implementation

Richard Samuels and Ray Chan, School of Planning and Geography
Tuesday 28th January 2014 - 4:00pm
Glamorgan Building Council Chamber

Environment Research Group PhD Seminar.

Richard Samuels - The Multi-level Perspective and Methods: Exposing the Silent Partner

The multi-level perspective for socio-technical transitions has for the most part focussed on illustrating the multi-level perspective's potential rather than systematic research. Methodological discussion is rarely touched upon leaving the multi-level perspective framework open to criticism about the rigorousness of its data collection and analysis. Focussing on the problem, this presentation explores one possible approach to narrative construction taken from historical studies.

Kin Wing (Ray) Chan - Governing bamboo, policy implementation, and actors’ interactions under pragmatic bamboo projects in rural Lin’an, Zhejiang

China has undergone rapid social transformations since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1945. Under a series of social transformations, China has encountered different types of tensions and conflicts from the legacy of Maoism, and pro-growth pragmatism under Deng Xiao Ping’s era. These tensions and conflicts are expressed in the state’s forestry projects in Lin’an, Zhejiang.  To understand the nature of state-led forestry projects in Lin’an County under Deng Xiao Ping’s pragmatic reform, this paper seeks to unpack the governing structures in Lin’an bamboo shoot production system through elucidating the interactions between central-local states, and the interrelations between state and non-state actors in the bamboo shoot supply networks.

In so doing, this research selected two villages in Lin’an where the hub of the Chinese bamboo shoots production: the Bai Sha village on a mountaintop and the Xia Gao Village in a river valley to conduct 80 semi-structured surveys and 60 in-depth interviews.

Through the prism of governance, this research highlights two major findings: (1) elucidates how local state actors make plans, deploy resources, and mobilize farmers to actualize state’s pragmatic bamboo projects, and (2) provides insights on how actual practices are materialized through personalized networking and trust making between state and non-state actors in bamboo shoots supply networks in Lin’an county.