Mediatized Environmental Governance: The Normalization of Waste-classification Policy in China

Jia Dai, Chenghao Ji


Under the urgency of garbage siege, China initiated a waste-classification policy advocacy that aims to reduce the harm of waste disposal recently. Yet to ensure an enforced implementation across the nation, the traditional command-and-control administrative pattern encounters problems. In this study, topic modeling and social network analysis of Weibo reveals a new pattern of environmental governance in which mediatization plays a central role. First, the communication among the mainstream, social media, public-opinion leaders, and average citizens disrupted and reversed the assumed sequence of the normalization process of policy, therefore overcoming the rigidity of the command-and-control model of governance. Second, mediatization helped to realize the translation from questioning, mocking to understanding of the policy, which smoothed the usually state-driven, hierarchical normalization process. The significance of mediatized governance is discussed.


mediatized environmental governance, social media, waste classification, normalization process, topic modeling

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