Heejin Han

National University of Singapore
Political Science

#4-49 AS1
11 Arts Link NUS

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I study environmental politics and policymaking with a regional focus on Asia. My doctoral dissertation and published articles dealt with contentious environmental politics revolving hydropower decision-making in China by applying the Advocacy Coalition Framework. My other broad research interests include roles of non-state entities in environmental policymaking and the relationships between political institutions and environmental outcomes. Some of my recent publications include: 2013. China’s Policymaking in Transition: A Hydropower Development Case”, Journal of Environment and Development, 22(3), 313-336. 2014. “Policy Advocacy Coalitions in China: Assessing Evidence from Contemporary Environmental Politics”, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 16(4), 313-334 (with Brendon Swedlow and Danny Unger). 2014. “Deliberation as a Goal: The Case of Chinese ENGO Activism”, Journal of Chinese Political Science, 19(2), 173-190. 2015. “Authoritarian Environmentalism under Democracy: Korea’s River Restoration Project”, Environmental Politics, 24(5), 810-829. 2015. Korea's pursuit of low-carbon green growth: A middle-power state's dream of becoming a green pioneer, The Pacific Review, DOI: 10.1080/09512748.2015.1013491. 2015. “Reality Revealed: U.S. Military Bases, Environmental Impact, and Civil Society in South Korea” in Edwin A. Martini (ed.), Providing Grounds: Military Bases, Weapon Testing, and the Environmental Impact of American Empire. University of Washington Press, pp. 211-238 (coauthored with Yooil Bae)

Heejin Han, Brendon Swedlow and Danny Unger. Forthcoming. "Policy Advocacy Coalitions in China: Assessing Evidence from Contemporary Environmental Politics." Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis.
Abstract: This article employs the advocacy coalition framework (ACF), a set of concepts developed to account for policymaking primarily in the United States, to analyze factors that led China to downsize its latest big hydropower project, on the Nu River. The ACF helps us identify two conflicting coalitions based on their policy beliefs and the resources they mobilized to translate their beliefs into policy change, which the ACF also helps us explain. Conflict between state agencies 10 contributed to the rise of a societally based environmental coalition to oppose a state-centered development coalition, and struggle and strategic learning between these coalitions led to interventions by the premier and a scaling down of the project from 13 dams to four.
Heejin Han. 2013. "China’s Policymaking in Transition: A Hydropower Development Case.” Journal of Environment and Development 22 (3): 313-336
Abstract: The decision-making process underlying large dam construction in China used to be dominated either by powerful leaders or by bureaucratic departments pursuing parochial organizational interests. This article asks whether such statecentric explanations can be applied to China’s more contemporary hydropower development. Reconstructing the events surrounding the Nu River hydropower development project from 2003 to 2009, this study demonstrates that a wide array of nonstate actors, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international entities, emerged as new sources of policy input and influence. They advocated the careful consideration of environmental and social impacts of large dams and public participation in policymaking. To achieve these goals, nonstate actors formed networks based on shared beliefs and preferences and engaged in rights-based activism. This study concludes nonstate actors, their preferences, and their strategies should be given more attention for a complete understanding of the evolving nature of Chinese policymaking, particularly in the domain of hydropower development.

Substantive Focus:
Energy and Natural Resource Policy
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Governance SECONDARY
International Relations
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY