Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics

First Advisor

Chiara Piovani

Second Advisor

Markus Schneider

Third Advisor

Robert Urquhart

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Conant


China, Development, Economics, Environment, Neoliberalism, Sustainability


Historically, economic development has come at the cost of environmental degradation. Since the 1980s, neoliberalism rooted in neoclassical theory has dominated mainstream economic thought. The result has been a dramatic increase in environmental degradation in favor of economic growth. The neoliberal recommendations toward development are encapsulated in the Washington and post-Washington Consensuses which promote the liberalization of trade and foreign investment as well as a reliance on market mechanisms. Ultimately, the goal of neoliberalism is to generate growth regardless of the impact that it places on the environment. The case of China presents an example of an economy which pursued a market transformation and neoliberal goals. The severe environmental impact of China’s economic transformation and growth demonstrates the unsustainability of neoliberalism. Using China as a case study, this thesis evaluates the traditional development path and the need for a transition toward an alternative development paradigm which promotes environmental sustainability.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Christian D. Carpio-Thomas


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

174 p.


Environmental economics, Economics