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Edwin Schmitt is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oslo. In the past, he has conducted ethnographic and survey-based research on environmental consciousness in the city of Chengdu. His current project aims to examine how the production of energy has been connected to the formation of, and changes within, the broader political power structures in recent Chinese history.

How China’s Environmental Crackdown Is Affecting Business Owners and Workers: The Case of Chengdu

The Nineteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has seen an outpouring of support for strengthening environmental protections—a theme which was central to Xi Jinping’s opening speech. This event comes amid an intensified environmental crackdown across the country. Beginning in late July, drawing on the vivid metaphor of ‘cutting with a single knife’ (yi […]

Burning Coal in Tangshan: Energy Resources as Commons

The extraction and use of energy resources to drive modernisation has been one of the key concerns of the Chinese Communist Party. By tracing the history of coal mining in China, this essay argues that the physical characteristics of coal as a common pool resource have shaped the ways in which coal has been harvested and used, as well as the political and institutional structures that have developed around its governance.

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