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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020340

How are Anti-Air Pollution Policies Implemented? A Network Analysis of Campaign-Style Enforcement in China

1
School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
2
School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

Haze pollution has become one of the most important environment problems in China, raising increasing serious public health concerns. When carried out through campaign-style enforcement drives, the nation’s anti-air pollution policy and its implementation require all-levels of government to take measures to improve the air quality in a certain period. In this study, Xi’an, a city in northwest China, where serious haze occurs frequently, was chosen as the research sample. Based on a social network analysis of the Anti-pollution and Anti-haze Work Scheme of Xi’an for 2014 and 2015 as well as in-depth interviews with enforcement officials, we studied the attributes of the enforcement network, including the actors’ respective tasks, the network’s structure, and the ‘centrality’ of the network. Compared to 2014, the goals of the 2015 scheme were clearer and more challenging, with a larger number of specific tasks and tighter time limits. The structure of the enforcement network became flatter, with a ‘horizontal’ management arrangement that involved fewer actors. The core actors were shifted to the more authoritative departments, reflecting the reality that the campaign-style enforcement network structure had been adjusted toward the regulatory hierarchy system and routing administration. The results reveal that the implementation gap was narrowed by clearer and more specific roles and tasks, a simplified, flatter organizational network structure, greater decentralization of authority and responsibility to local departments, and more harmonious coordination among those departments with the most powerful leading actors. This study provides managers with an insight into the external and organizational factors involved in enhancing the effectiveness of anti-air pollution policy implementation. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution control; social network analysis; collaboration; campaign-style enforcement; regulatory implementation air pollution control; social network analysis; collaboration; campaign-style enforcement; regulatory implementation
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Meng, F.; Chen, Z.; Wu, J. How are Anti-Air Pollution Policies Implemented? A Network Analysis of Campaign-Style Enforcement in China. Sustainability 2019, 11, 340.

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