THE EFFECT OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Open Access
Author:
O'Malley, Bridget
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Eric Robert Hayot, Thesis Supervisor
  • Gretchen Casper, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • The United Nations
  • China
  • environmental policy
Abstract:
Using the United Nations System as a main case study, this thesis seeks to address and understand two things: 1.) the impact that intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) have on the environmental policy of the People’s Republic of China; and 2.) what the most successful UN strategies for interacting with China are. The Introduction explains the relevance and urgency of China’s environmental problems. Chapter One defines and explains the environmental problems of China in depth, demonstrating that China’s environmental issues are in fact international issues, and showing how IGOs are in a unique position to intercede on behalf of other nations in regards to China’s global environmental problems. Chapter Two explains the interactions between the UN System and China in regards to China’s environment and the success or failure of each interaction. The analysis in Chapter Three presents findings on what kind of impact the UN has had in China, and specifically what the best UN strategies for obtaining China’s cooperation are- i.e. using a non-binding, non-restrictive, mixed carrots/sticks approach in which China’s needs as a developing nation are taken into account. The thesis notes that gaining China’s compliance in UN agreements is not necessarily equivalent to constructive environmental change, and offers suggestions as to how to best get the PRC to make needed environmental transformations.