Brown Bag Session at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Professor Genia Kostka gave a brown bag lunch session on her DLP research to the Asia Pacific Foundation on 6th October 2010. Entitled "China: Bridging the Gap between National Priorities and Local Interests", the research analyzes how leaders in sub-national governments 'work politically' to meet national energy efficiency targets at local levels. Where previous research has focused on the way governance practices and formal decision-making structures shape implementation outcomes, very little attention has been given to the political strategies local leaders actually employ to bridge national priorities with local interests. Accordingly this research highlights specific political tactics that official use to strengthen formal incentives and create effective informal incentives to fulfil their energy efficiency mandates.
The analysis draws on fifty-three interviews conducted in June and July in Shanxi, a major coal-producing and energy-intensive province. Findings suggest that local government leaders seek to meet the national directives by 'bundling' energy efficiency policies with policies of more pressing local importance, or by 'bundling' them with the interest of groups of significant political influence. Ultimately, officials take national policies and then frame them in ways that give them legitimacy at the local level.
This research was conducted as part of a wider DLP research project on the role of leaders, elites and coalitions in the sub-national politics of emission reduction processes in China and India.