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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010199

Bounded Rationality in the Developmental Trajectory of Environmental Target Policy in China, 1972–2016

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dalian University of Technology, Linggong Road 2, Ganjingzi District, Dalian 116024, China
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract

This article applies the theoretical notion of “bounded rationality” to understand and to explain the updates of the Environmental Target Policy (ETP) in China during 1972–2016. An analytical framework is built up by combining the phase model and the stream model in policy science in order to trace the longitudinal transformation of the ETP. In addition, the article adopts the “event sequence method” to discover the dynamics of the problem, politics, and policy streams of the target policy and to identify the evolving coupling between the different streams. It shows that China’s ETP has experienced five phases of development. For each phase the central government had its specific bounded rationality to make the crucial decision on the ETP. The decisions on the ETP in different phases were made when policy windows were open with the coupling of the problem, politics, and policy streams. As for the updates of the ETP, we find that the rationalities of the central governments in the five phases were limited by the emergent practices during the ETP implementation, which gave momentum to the central government to seek new solutions and to revise and adapt the ETP. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental target; bounded rationality; multiple streams; longitudinal study; China environmental target; bounded rationality; multiple streams; longitudinal study; China
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Mu, R. Bounded Rationality in the Developmental Trajectory of Environmental Target Policy in China, 1972–2016. Sustainability 2018, 10, 199.

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