Introduction to Environmental Governance (2): Dr. Coraline Goron

Environmental governance focuses on procedural elements involved in the design, formation, implementation and evaluation of policies, regulations and laws. We focus on the formal rule-making process and more informal rule-making procedures to regulate environmental risk. We consider the involvement of actors at the national and non-national levels in natural resource management.

Professor Introduction

Coraline Goron is an assistant professor of environmental policy at Duke Kunshan University, Doctor of Political Science, University of Warwick and Free University of Brussels.

Dr. Coraline Goron obtained a double Ph.D. degree in Political Science from the University of Warwick and the Université Libre de Bruxelles under the aegis of the Erasmus Mundus GEM program. She holds an MA in European politics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and an LLM in international and Chinese law from the China-EU School of Law at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Before joining DKU, Coraline was a postdoctoral research fellow funded by the Wiener-Anspach Foundation at the University of Oxford China Centre.

Her research centers on environmental politics with a specific focus on China. Her research scope includes domestic and international climate change policies and legal mechanisms, the role of institutions, information and discourse systems in the environmental policy system, and China’s influence as a rule maker in international environmental governance. Her Ph.D. thesis received the Marthe Engelborghs-Bertels Prize for Sinology in May 2018.

Research Team introduction

Xiaohan Cui, Research Assistant
Cui Xiaohan joined Professor Coraline Goron’s team as a research assistant in December 2020 and is currently responsible for research projects in biodiversity policy and environmental communication in China. She graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a master’s degree in 2020, majoring in global communication, and got a bachelor’s degree in Journalism Department of Nanjing University.

Congyun Yang, iMEP Class of 2022
Congyun Yang is a 1st-year student of iMEP, DKU. She graduated from Land Resource Management Major at Nanjing Agricultural University. Before coming to iMEP, Congyun Yang had been a volunteer Chinese teacher in Kenya for two years. What she saw and heard during her stay in Kenya made her deeply aware of the interaction between people and the environment, and hoped to make her own contribution to environmental protection.
Congyun Yang joined Professor Goron’s research team in August 2020 to study the decarbonization of China’s power system in the process of market-oriented reform. She hopes to deepen her understanding of the relationship between economy, energy and environment.

Suad Muradov, iMEP Class of 2022
Suad Muradov is a first-year student of IMEP. At present, he is responsible for the reform of China’s power system and the research of its China model from an international perspective. He hopes to devote himself to the research of public policy, renewable energy and electricity market in the future. From his childhood, he hopes to be engaged in the government system to serve the people. He studied Azerbaijani and Turkish in a Turkish school for 11 years and English at Ada University for 4 years. His interests focus on leadership, team work, and communication. His knowledge framework is mainly in politics, economics, natural science, and social science.

Pearl Dong, iMEP Class of 2022
Pearl is a first-year student of IMEP and is currently responsible for China’s low-carbon policy reform project. She studied in the University of International Relations as an undergraduate and decided to study environmental policy after her internship in ISEP.

Chenhan Shao, MPP Class of 2022
Chenhan Shao, a 1st-year student majoring in public policy at Duke University, is currently participating in the research of the 15th Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Chenhan graduated from the Joint International College of Beijing Normal University and Hong Kong Baptist University in 2020, majoring in politics and international relations. Her research interests include global governance and international development policy.

Xiaohui Jiang, DKU undergraduate
Xiaohui Jiang is a junior in the undergraduate program of Duke Kunshan University, majoring in international political economy.
After joining the research project of Professor Coraline Goron in 2019, she is responsible for investigating citizens’ choices of online communication methods such as online legal consultation platforms and social media platforms, and analyzing the data of online communication and microblog between citizens and lawyers.

Shiting Wang, DKU undergraduate
Shiting Wang is a sophomore in the undergraduate program of Duke Kunshan University. She is currently majoring in literature. She joined Professor Caroline Goron’s research team at the end of 2019 to process data and explore the positive impacts of social media on environmental protection. As a research assistant of IMEP, she has been exposed to a lot of practical knowledge beyond her major, trained ability to analyze data, and has a deeper understanding of social medias.

Hao Tan, DKU undergraduate
Hao Tan is a junior in the undergraduate program of Duke Kunshan University, majoring in world history. Because of her interest in mass media and communication, Hao Tan joined Professor Caroline Goron’s research team at the end of 2019, focusing on the role of social media in environmental protection. Becoming a research assistant of IMEP helps Hao Tan to further understand China’s media environment, the role of public opinion, the relationship between online interaction and offline practice, which become her future academic directions.

Research Topics:

Internet and environmental communication in China: quantitative and qualitative research

1) How does the Chinese government disseminate environmental policy information to combat pollution with the help of social media?
2) How Chinese citizens focus on local environmental issues with the help of social media?
3) How can Chinese citizens obtain free legal consultation to solve environmental disputes through online legal consultation platforms?

The transformation of China’s ecological policy

  • Her Ph.D. thesis (will be published soon) is about the transformation of China’s low carbon policy, which won the Marthe EngelborghsBertels Prize for Sinology in May 2018. It traced the transformation of China’s regulatory institutions in the field of energy and environmental protection and analyzed their combined outcomes on the implementation of decarbonization and renewable energy policies.
  • The fairness of China’s topdown environmental policy implementation system: from objectives to supervision. Based on the hierarchy of local administrative system, this paper studies the distribution and implementation of environmental objectives, and the impacts of fairness on local economic and social differences. Another topic under this project mainly focuses on the impacts of coal production capacity on coal mining areas.
  • Ecological civilization is a new concept of environmental governance in China. This study focuses on the history and meaning of this concept, and its interaction with global sustainable development policies.
  • The emerging Chinese environmental citizen. This study focuses on how Chinese teenagers participate in civic science activities organized by NGOs, such as monitoring water quality, to enhance their environmental awareness and civic awareness, thus leading to the discussion of the emerging environmental citizen groups in the context of China.
  • Contemporaneous sketch: China in the middle of the 21st century. On the way to realize the “Chinese dream”, China has set a number of shortterm and long-term development goals with the middle of the 21st century as the time node. This project focus on China’s economic activities, regional development, policy achievements and technology expectations in the middle of the 21st century, to analyze the major opportunities and challenges China will face in its developing process.

China’s role in global environmental governance: ecological civilization, biodiversity, and multilateral governance of climate change

  • China’s global ecological civilization and multilevel environmental governance. This study mentions the international promotions and responses to China’s concept of ecological civilization, and deeply analyzes how ecological civilization affects China’s attitude towards changing environmental governance through the comparison between climate change and biodiversity.
  • China as a host of the 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The research scope of this topic includes the preparations made by China in the COVID19 era for hosting COP15, China’s main objectives, the negotiation strategy and the outcome of negotiations, and how China’s government made international and domestic NGOs participate in the consultations of COP15.
  • China in the post Paris Agreement era: as a “middleman” in multilateral climate change negotiations. This topic traces back to China’s influences in the formulation and implementation of the detailed rules of the Paris Agreement, as well as China’s role as a “middleman” in mediating the negotiation between developed and developing countries. In addition, this topic also deals with climate and trade system and its impacts on industrial policies and lowcarbon technologies.

Courses taught by Dr. Goron in iMEP

Key Topics in International Environmental Policy
Based on the in-depth discussion of key issues by top scholars, this course aims to provide an overview of international environmental policy issues. The course includes seven modules covering international environmental economics, international environmental policy and politics, and international environmental negotiations. Students will be expected to participate in policy debates and simulations. The main objective of this course is to promote the transformation of core curriculum concepts into various real-world applications, and to develop various forms of professional communication skills to achieve leadership in global environmental affairs.

Environmental Policy Analysis

This is a postgraduate level professional course, which provides tools for thinking, implementing and communicating environmental policy analysis. Many of the concepts and tools in this course are widely applicable to various types of policy contexts, but the focus of this course will be clearly on policy issues related to the environment. This course covers concepts or theoretical foundations related to policy analysis and policy-making process, as well as practical tools and applications in environmental policy analysis. Course reading will be a mixture of textbook materials, journal articles, newspaper or magazine articles and web content, designed to help students master the skills of presentation and get practical application cases of concepts. Scoring assignments are designed for critical reflects on a variety of domestic and international environmental challenges, to test students ability in the application of concepts and tools, and to help students develop policy communication skills in a variety of ways.


Kostka Genia, Coraline Goron. 2020. From targets to inspections: the issue of fairness in China’s environmental policy implementation. Environmental Politics. DOI:

Goron, Coraline. 2020. China’s global ecological civilization and multilateral environmental governance. In Marques, J-L Sales, Meyer, Thomas, Telo, Mario. Towards a new multilateralism. How does cultural diversity allow policy convergence? Routledge. 

Goron Coraline, Bolsover Gillian. 2019. Engagement or control? The impact of the Chinese environmental protection bureaus’ burgeoning online presence in local environmental governance. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. Online first., Coraline. 2018.

Ecological Civilization and the Political Limits of a Chinese Concept of Sustainability. China Perspective, 2018/4 pp 39-52., Coraline. 2018.

Fighting Climate Change and Fair Trade: Finding EU’s interest in the solar dispute with China. China-EU Law Journal. Online first.

Coraline, Cassisa Cyril.2017.“Regulatory Institutions and Market-Based Climate Policy in China”, Global Environmental Politics. 17:1 pp 99-120. Coraline. 2013.

“欧盟航空排放交易系统被困于京都和芝加哥:在多方治理体系中的单方法律设立”[The EU Aviation ETS caught between Kyoto and Chicago: Unilateral Norm Entrepreneurship in the Multilateral Governance System] 《中国政法大学学报》(China University of Political Science and Law Journal) 35. pp 41-87

Goron, Coraline, Freeman, Duncan. 2017. Industrial policy in China and Europe’s climate change strategies. In Telo, Mario, Wang, Xiaotong, Ding, Chun. 2018.

The EU-China partnership. Bridging institutional, and ideational differences between two unprecedented global actors. Routledge. pp 204-220

Goron Coraline, (2014) “China –EU relations: Low carbon objectives and the management of bilateral Trade Relations”, Book Chapter in Etienne Reuter and Jing Men (eds), China –EU Green Cooperation. pp 67-83Goron Coraline. 2014.

“EU –ASEAN Relations in the post-2015 Climate Regime: Exploring pathways for Top-down and Bottom-up Climate Governance” in Konrad Adenauer Foundation (ed) EU-Asia Dialogue Series, Climate Change Diplomacy. The Way Forward for Asia and Europe.  pp 101-131

Goron Coraline.2012.“The EU Aviation ETS caught between Kyoto and Chicago: Unilateral Norm Entrepreneurship in the Multilateral Governance System”, GEM-GREEN Doctoral Working Paper Series, Brussels, November 2012