China Urban Development Discussion Series: "Building a Model of Tri-Sector Collaboration to Reduce Pollution in China"

Speaker: Mary Alice Haddad, Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University; Discussant: Dr. Karen R. Polenske, Peter deFlorez Professor of Regional Political Economy, MIT DUSP

More than three decades ago Deng Xiaoping introduced market reforms into post-Mao China, and the results have led to the greatest reduction in poverty in human history. They have also resulted in one of the worst environmental crises the world has ever known, one that threatens the ecology and livability of the entire planet. The path of environmental degradation experienced by China has been, unfortunately, a very common one. When political leaders, citizens, and businesses prioritize economic growth, the environment suffers. When economic growth proceeds at a breakneck pace for decades, environmental pollution follows at an equally fast pace. Turning the tide on an increasingly rapid race to the bottom is not easy, but the Beijing-based Institute for Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) has made a good start. This talk uses the experience of IPE to develop a model of tri-sector cooperation that can help improve environmental behavior around the globe. The model demonstrates how a transparency-based platform can serve as a coordinating mechanism that encourages brand-sensitive multinational corporations, their suppliers, local governments, and an increasingly broad range of companies to comply with national environmental regulations, even when those regulations are not well enforced. 

Complimentary lunch will be served at 12:05 pm in room 9-555; talk starts at 12:30 pm and ends by 2 pm in room 9-354.


Web site:


Open to: the general public

Sponsors: Graduate Student Life Grants, China Urban Development, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

For more information, contact:
Shan Jiang