Andrea E. Pia is Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the London School of Economics. Since 2007, Andrea has been engaged in a long-term, multi-sited ethnographic study of China’s unfolding water crisis, paying particular heed to questions of environmental justice, social control, and prefigurative rural politics. His next project looks at the internationalisation of the Chinese water industry and the political-ecological transformations now affecting the transboundary riverine communities located along the Mekong. His work has appeared on PoLar: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and Cultural Anthropology, among others. His first book is forthcoming with Johns Hopkins University Press.

Beijing from Below: A Conversation with Harriet Evans

In her new book, Beijing from Below: Stories of Marginal Lives in the Capital’s Center (Duke University Press, 2020), Harriet Evans captures the last gasps of subaltern life in Dashalar, one of Beijing’s poorest neighbourhoods. Between the early 1950s and the accelerated demolition and construction of Beijing’s ‘old city’ in preparation for the 2008 Olympic […]

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Asian Reservoirs: A Conversation with Frédéric Keck

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to its knees. Yet, this coronavirus is only the latest in a number of zoonosis events originating in different parts of the globe, and especially within Asia, over the last 20 years. For this reason virologists commonly refer to places like China, Hong Kong, or Singapore as […]

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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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