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date: 09 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The growth of consumption is one of the most impressive social changes in contemporary China. This transformation is driven and shaped by the forces of globalization, economic growth, political modernization, the emerging middle class, industrialization/urbanization, advances in information and communication technologies, and sustainability challenges. Given China’s unique historical, cultural, and institutional context, it is highly interesting to assess the relevance of the concept of political consumerism in China. This chapter analyzes how institutional changes are shaping consumer politics and how political consumerism affects the development of governance in China. Two important consumption domains, food and energy, are used to explore what occurred in the particular context of rapidly transforming China. The conclusion discusses the question of whether the increased buying power of Chinese consumers will actually be used to address environmental and safety concerns.

Keywords: consumerism, institutional changes, behavioral change, consumption transitions, food, energy

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