Note:  Adjunct Professor of Economics and Finance, Syracuse University (Hong Kong Programme)
Note:  Professor and Director of the Centre of International and Public Law, Brunel Law School, Brunel University; Honorary Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong; and Visiting Professor, Kadoorie Institute, University of Hong Kong. I wish to thank the Kadoorie Institute for its research support, but the authors are solely responsible for the views expressed herein.
Abstract: Ecological threats continue to proliferate at a worrisome pace and in many circumstances defy efforts to neutralize them. Mounting concerns about the gap between the scale of biophysical disruption and policy performance have stimulated both academic and engineering type interest in the effectiveness/consequences of environmental governance regimes. An issue, which has not received sufficient attention is the degree to which such regulatory mechanisms are in tune with their socio-institutional setting rather than merely the natural systems, which they aim to safeguard. China's experience suggests that this is a question, which merits close examination.