Interactive Governance of Water Environment in Taihu Lake Basin: A Challenge of Legitimacy Under the Authoritarian Regime in China

  • Kenji OtsukaEmail author


This chapter focuses on the pilot project initiated jointly by Japanese and Chinese research institutes in some communities in an industrial development zone in Yixing City, Jiangsu Province, which is located in the lakefront of Taihu Lake Basin. Here, the large coastal city, Wuxi City, experienced a drinking water crisis due to a huge bloom of blue-green algae in 2007. Subsequently, state, provincial, and local governments took more intensive measures to control water pollution in the basin. However, such top-down governance requires a bottom-up mechanism to be sustainable and effective in the long term. The joint research team conducted eight meetings with the cooperation of the local community leader and grassroots government in their pilot project and identified achievements and difficulties in initiating a bottom-up, interactive mechanism without an official institution. This chapter focuses on the issue of legitimacy in its discussion and introduces the concept of institutional legitimacy to address problems in promoting interactive governance under the authoritarian regime in China.


Community roundtable meeting Interactive governance Top-down governance Bottom-up mechanism Legitimacy Authoritarian regime Taihu Lake Yixing City Jiangsu Province China 


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© Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Developing EconomiesJapan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO)ChibaJapan

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