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Institutions in TransitionLand Ownership, Property Rights and Social Conflict in China$
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Peter Ho

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019928069X.001.0001

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Governing China's Grasslands: The Creation of Empty Institutions

Governing China's Grasslands: The Creation of Empty Institutions

Chapter:
(p.69) 3 Governing China's Grasslands: The Creation of Empty Institutions
Source:
Institutions in Transition
Author(s):

Peter Ho (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019928069X.003.0004

Offers a detailed institutional analysis of national grassland policy. It is demonstrated that one of the main reasons for the failure of national grassland policy and the pasture lease system is the fact that both do not suit the current socio-economic parameters. In other words, they are ‘empty institutions’. The ‘empty institution’ incorporates rules that have not yet been widely accepted in society, yet in such way that these can have no real impact on the behaviour of social actors. An ‘empty institution’ generally arises from a compromise over sensitive political issues. In this case, national grassland policy reflects a political compromise over the core of grassland property rights: the distinction between state and collective property.

Keywords:   grassland, pastoralism, policy implementation and failure

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