Project

Ecological States: Environmental Governance, Urbanization, and Inequality in China

Program

Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Early Career Fellowships

Department

Natural Resources and the Environment

Abstract

Ecological States details the relationship between ecology, state power, and an uneven citizenry. The project traces the roots of land classification policies through global interconnections of China's premier ecologists into programs of state-led green modernization collectively referred to as "ecological civilization building." The logics of this green development platform lay the groundwork for techniques of ecological protection zoning that extend municipal state power and facilitate the uneven incorporation of peri-urban villagers’ land and housing, spurring ecological migrations. Holding in tension the biophysical, governmental, and aesthetic articulations of “ecological states,” the project illustrates how ecology becomes a means of constituting local state power and social inequality.