Andrea E. Pia is a Fellow in the Anthropology of China at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research examines Yunannese street-level officials and rural residents as they push the boundaries of co-operation and antagonism over the task of maintaining access to water in the Chinese periphery.

Introducing the Chinese Commons

‘[China’s] environment can no longer keep pace. Acid rain is falling on one third of China’s territory, half of the water in our seven largest rivers is completely useless, while one fourth of our citizens do not have access to clean drinking water. One third of the urban population is breathing polluted air, and less […]

Resigned Activism: A Conversation with Anna Lora-Wainwright

In today’s China, rapid development and urbanisation has resulted in widespread environmental pollution and degradation. In many parts of the country contamination has become a mundane but oppressive part of daily existence. In Resigned Activism (MIT Press 2017), Anna Lora-Wainwright examines how Chinese people living with environmental degradation attempt to improve their situations in ways […]

A Water Commons in China?

The debate over China’s environmental issues has given scant consideration to existing popular alternatives to the top-down governance of the country’s natural resources. Still, if we take a closer look, we will find that at the grassroots there is no lack of alternatives. For instance, in contemporary rural China there are places where water is being managed as a commons.

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