Exploring the voluntary approach in China

Liguang Liu (Department of Public Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)

Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China

ISSN: 1756-1418

Publication date: 28 September 2010

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the emergence, shape and functioning of China's Top‐1,000 Industrial Energy Conservation Program. The program, implemented since 2006, is generated from a pilot voluntary program and modeled on international industrial efficiency target‐setting programs. The research studies why the program was deviated from the voluntary approach and how the program outcomes have been influenced by the action network.

Design/methodology/approach

The historical development of the program is framed by policy network theory, which conceptualizes the causal relations of policy network and policy outcomes. Both primary data and secondary data are used.

Findings

In the current Chinese context, the voluntary agreement could not replace the traditional top‐down regulations as policy tools adopted nationwide. However, it can function as a complementary implementation tool to be adopted at the local level.

Practical implications

An in‐depth understanding of the evolution of voluntary agreement on energy efficiency in China will promote the discussion on China's policy‐making process and will provide useful insights regarding its future low‐carbon policy options.

Originality/value

The study provides an empirical application of the policy network approach, a prominent policy process theory that has been popular in many European and some North‐American contexts.

Keywords

Citation

Liu, L. (2010), "Exploring the voluntary approach in China", Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 283-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/17561411011077918

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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