Environmental Litigation in China: A Study in Political Ambivalence

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 11, 2013 - Law - 300 pages
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This is a book about the improbable: seeking legal relief for pollution in contemporary China. In a country known for tight political control and ineffectual courts, Environmental Litigation in China unravels how everyday justice works: how judges make decisions, why lawyers take cases, and how international influence matters. It is a readable account of how the leadership's mixed signals and political ambivalence play out on the ground - propelling some, such as the village doctor who fought a chemical plant for more than a decade, even as others back away from risk. Yet this remarkable book shows that even in a country where expectations would be that law wouldn't much matter, environmental litigation provides a sliver of space for legal professionals to explore new roles and, in so doing, probe the boundary of what is politically possible.

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About the author (2013)

Rachel Stern is an Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Her articles on law, social activism and environmental issues in China and Hong Kong have appeared in Comparative Political Studies, Law and Policy, China Quarterly and other journals. She is a former Junior Fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows.

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