Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Serious environmental problems such as deforestation, desertification, erosion, and air and water pollution have prevailed in most of China since its founding, with accelerated environmental resource degradation amid unprecedented economic growth. Since the 1980s, China has made remarkable achievements in economic development. At the same time, there has been continuous environmental deterioration, which is reflected in the overcutting of forests, the excessive reclamation of grasslands, and the waste and improper allocation of water resources. China's economy is growing with a sustained high growth rate. As a result, population, resource consumption, ecological pressure, and social differences are also on the rise. The paper first examines how Chinese environmental policies have evolved throughout the years including environmental protection trends, tensions between environmental protection and sustainable development, and contradictory impact of reform on environmental protection[NN1] . This paper seeks to explain the inefficient environmental protection, and why there has been a contradictory on environmental policies. This thesis will argue that local autonomy, governance, and relations between local and central government have resulted in the insufficient environmental protection. The paper concludes with how insufficient enforcement has led to contradictory and inefficient environmental policy outcomes, the paradoxes of environmental policy and resource management, the efforts China has made throughout the years and suggestions for how to implement environmental policies more effectively.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.