Governing China's Grasslands: The Creation of Empty Institutions

Peter Ho

in Institutions in Transition

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280698
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602528 | DOI:

Series: Studies on Contemporary China

Governing China's Grasslands: The Creation of Empty Institutions

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Offers a detailed institutional analysis of national grassland policy. It is demonstrated that one of the main reasons for the failure of national grassland policy and the pasture lease system is the fact that both do not suit the current socio-economic parameters. In other words, they are ‘empty institutions’. The ‘empty institution’ incorporates rules that have not yet been widely accepted in society, yet in such way that these can have no real impact on the behaviour of social actors. An ‘empty institution’ generally arises from a compromise over sensitive political issues. In this case, national grassland policy reflects a political compromise over the core of grassland property rights: the distinction between state and collective property.

Keywords: grassland; pastoralism; policy implementation and failure

Chapter.  14263 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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