Peer-reviewed Article
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Citizen Complaints about Environmental Pollution: A Survey Study in Suzhou, China

In Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 3/2011
Yanli DONG, Can WANG, Tomohiro SHISHIME

This paper discusses environmental complaints made by citizens
living close to industrial polluters in China. Data collected from a questionnaire
survey in Suzhou City is used for the analysis. The results confirm a marginal
level of citizen environmental complaints in the study area at present. Meaningful
findings include the fact that citizens have a tendency to complain collectively,
and that perception of the level of environmental information provided by
companies significantly determines a citizen’s likelihood of lodging environmental
complaints. Therefore, the disclosure of corporate environmental information
must be emphasized continuously; citizens must be encouraged to correctly
understand the environmental performance of companies so that they
might make appropriate complaints. Governments need to show their support
for citizen-led environmental complaint initiatives. The successful cases would
convince them to keep a closer eye on their neighbouring polluters.

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