Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

December Green (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Chair), Kathryn Meyer (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


How do increases in environmental protests in China impact increases in the implementation of environmental policies? Environmental protests in China are gaining traction. By examining these protests, this study analyzes forty-one protests and their impact on government enforcement of environmental regulations. Stratifying this study according to five areas (Beijing, Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangsu, and Sichuan), patterns began to emerge according to each area. Employing a framework William Gamson introduced (2009), this study analyzes the outcomes of environmental contention, including the use of co-optation and preemptive measures. It finds that the success or failure of a protest has much to do with the local government's sense of social stability and the tactics protesters used. The information gleaned from this analysis helps anticipate how authoritarian governments (local and national) will continue to respond to environmental protests that are likely to continue to increase in number.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded