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Book launch: Certifying China

Event start: 20220223
End date: 20220223

Event description

Book launch event for ‘Certifying China: The Rise and Limits of Transnational Sustainability Governance in Emerging Economies’ by Yixian Sun

About this event (Register)

Join us for the official launch of the book Certifying China by Dr Yixian Sun, Assistant Professor in International Development at the University of Bath. The launch, hosted by the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bath, will feature a discussion with a diverse panel of experts on environmental governance. Participants will have opportunities to join the discussion through Q&A on Zoom.

Come join us for what will be an enlightening and dynamic event!


  • Michele Betsill, Professor of Global Environmental Politics, University of Copenhagen
  • Thomas Hale, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Oxford
  • Kathryn Hochstetler, Professor of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Yixian Sun, Assistant Professor in International Development, University of Bath
  • Oran Young, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara

Launch chaired by:

  • Michael Bloomfield, Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Development Studies, University of Bath

About the book:

When widely used, eco-certification has the potential to effectively reduce sustainability impacts of global commodity chains. While this mode of transnational governance has quickly thrived in the markets of developed countries, its ultimate contribution to the achievement of sustainable development will largely depend on the extent to which it gains traction in fast-growing emerging economies.

As the world’s largest emerging market with an authoritarian state, China presents a challenging territory for the spread of many certification programs. Under what conditions can transnational eco-certification thrive in this unique and important market? In Certifying China, Yixian Sun addresses this question through a comparative study on China’s involvement in eco-certification of seafood, palm oil, and tea. Through case studies drawn from extensive fieldwork and mixed methods, Sun traces the processes by which certification programs originating from the Global North were introduced in China and gradually gained traction. He finds that the rise of eco-certification in the Chinese market is mainly driven by state actors, including government-sponsored industry associations, who seek to leverage transnational governance to meet their own development goals.

The book challenges the conventional wisdom that the Chinese state has little interest in supporting transnational governance, offering novel insights into the interactions between state and non-state actors in earth system governance in emerging economies.


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