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Environmental Values

Political Ambiguity in Chinese Climate Change Discourses

Alex Y. Lo

Environmental Values 24 (2015): 755-776. doi: 10.3197/096327115X14420732702653


China's political environment offers limited space for critical debates on domestic politics. In such a constrained environment, people tend to represent and articulate climate change issues without explicitly addressing their political aspects. The aim of this paper is to examine this political ambiguity in climate change discourses. Q methodology was employed to elicit the subjective positions of forty-five young and educated Chinese individuals. Three discourses were extracted: namely, prosaic environmentalism, co-operative economic optimism and actor scepticism. These discourses do not indicate critical intent and deep engagement in the political arguments regarding climate change. This raises concern about the growth of climate citizenship within the country.


Climate change, political activism, discourse, Q methodology, youth environmentalism, China

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

'Getting Rich Is Glorious':Environmental Values in the People's Republic of China. Paul G. Harris

More or Less Pluralistic? A Typology of Remedial and Alternative Perspectives on the Monetary Valuation of the Environment.Alex Y. Lo

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Climate of Arrogance, Disengagement and Injustice Simon Hailwood

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