Domestic Climate Change Governance in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis of Japan, China and South Korea

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Abstract

This article deals with domestic climate change governance in Japan, China and South Korea between 1997 and 2010. It examines whether the modes of governance of these three states show congruencies. In order to test this, the thesis uses a model of analysis by Treib, Bähr and Falkner, which examines seven categories within the three dimensions of polity, politics and policy. In each category, corresponding modes of governance are located on a spectrum between state intervention and societal autonomy. As the results of the analysis show, the hypothesis of congruent modes of governance in all three East Asian states cannot be confirmed. However, Japan and China show strong similarities in six out of seven categories. Modes in both states can be located on the traditional side of the spectrum tending towards state intervention. South Korea’s modes of governance differ as they are hybrid in most of the categories. However, since the enforcement of the Korean Low Carbon, Green Growth Strategy in April 2010, Korea seems to be moving towards Japan’s and China’s so-called traditional modes of governance.

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