The 1990s saw the emergence of urban poverty as a policy concern in China, owing largely to the speeding up of state enterprise restructuring leading to rising unemployment. Visible urban poverty had until then been kept low, despite a large and rapidly urbanising population, through a work unit system that guaranteed adequate living standards and welfare for most urban residents combined with tight restrictions on migration into the cities. The weakening of the danwei welfare system, higher levels of migration and the growth of job insecurity raise new challenges for conceptualising, measuring and addressing problems of vulnerability and deprivation in China's cities.
Corporate Social Responsibility | Labour and Migration | Livelihoods
The 1980s saw the greening of Western capitalism - or, at least, the attempt to internalise some of its external costs through tougher environmental standards, impact assessments, valuation techniques aimed at putting environmental goods on the accountants' balance sheets, and the introduction of market based instruments such as tradable emissions permits. At the same time, the golden phrase 'sustainable development' was on everyone's lips, with the tantalising implication that we could, after all, have our cake and eat it.