This article uses provincial archives and published materials to examine the early establishment of environmental agencies in Hubei, China, in the 1970s and 1980s. It identifies four groups of environmental agencies in Hubei in order to shed light on how Hubei institutionalized those offices and on how the provincial administrative structure evolved from a large group of offices to a much shorter list that survived with more specific policy missions. Many duties remained within the executive agencies already established. The article presents a further comparison to show how the evolutions of the Hubei Environmental Protection Bureau paralleled those of the Hubei Biogas Office in a few early, subnational experiments going back to 1957, with interpretation for intraoffice dynamics. These findings illustrate how subnational bureaucratic weakness became continually entangled with competing agendas in enforcing environmental policies and how China engaged in environmental policy implementation at the provincial and subprovincial levels.


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pp. 98-115
Launched on MUSE
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