Policy making for sustainability in China. The role and constraints of institutionalized public participation

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Date(s) - 13/12/2016
12.00 - 13.00


The China Law Center and the UH Department of Development Studies warmly invites you to a Brown Bag Seminar


Tuesday, December 13 at noon (12:00 – 13:00)

Venue: Department of Development Studies, University of Helsinki

Unioninkatu 35, room 344 (third floor)


Policy making for sustainability in China. The role and constraints of institutionalized public participation” 

Dr Daniele Brombal



Despite retaining a restrictive political environment, in recent years the Chinese Party-State has introduced and strengthened various forms of institutionalized public participation. This trend has been particularly notable in policy areas neglected during the reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, more likely to spur dissatisfaction among the Chinese populace.

In parallel with substantial efforts towards a more sustainable path of development, the Chinese leadership has shown a growing awareness over the need to encourage public engagement. Yet, the capacity of China’s institutionalized forms of participation to influence the outcome of policy processes and to promote citizens’ empowerment remains widely debated.

This lecture aims at providing an overview over the current state of affairs in China’s public participation, by focusing on policy areas related to social and environmental sustainability. In the first part of the lecture, different forms of public participation are introduced, providing concrete examples of their utilization. In the second part, a multi-criteria tool developed by researchers at Venice Ca’ Foscari University to evaluate public participation in environmental planning is introduced, and its possible applications are discussed.


daniele-brombalDaniele Brombal is Research Fellow at the Department of Asian and North African Studies and the Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His research focuses on China’s policy making processes and public participation in the fields of sustainability, environmental protection, and public health. Between 2007 and 2010, he was Research Consultant and Programme Officer at the Directorate General for Development Cooperation – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy (Embassy of Italy in Beijing). He was 2009 Fellow of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA). Between 2012 and 2015, he was visiting fellow of the EU FP-7 Marie Curie IRSES project ‘Global Partners in Contaminated Land Management’ (GLOCOM) at the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) and Beijing Normal University (BNU). Between July, 2012 and March, 2014 he was Project Manager at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC). From 2013 to 2015, he was Member of the Board of the international NGO Asia Onlus. He is currently Research Associate at T.wai (Torino World Affairs Institute), a think-tank devoted to policy-oriented research in the field of global politics. Daniele holds a PhD in Languages, Cultures and Societies (University of Venice, 2012). His works are published on Environmental Impact Assessment ReviewLand Use PolicyJournal of Cleaner ProductionHealth Research Policy and SystemsInternational Journal for Equity in Health.