In summer of 2012, the National Science Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center sponsored an international collaborative program in social science research that both analyzed the impact of China’s regional economic development policies on water resource management practices in the Yellow River Loess Plateau, and served to increase the recruitment of talented undergraduates into international social science research. Specifically, Negotiations and Impacts: Water Policy across China's Loess Plateau explores village-level impacts and responses to the environmental and economic policies of China’s ambitious “Great Western Development Strategy (Xibu dakaifa) (GWDS)” program via a multi-disciplinary analysis that employs the perspectives and methodologies of sociology, economics, biology, environmental studies, history, and geography. Integrated student/faculty teams of American and Chinese researchers from both the social and natural sciences will focus on the following questions:
- How has the massive economic development initiated by GWDS, the largest regional economic development program in world history, affected water resource management in Northwest China?
- How have local users, largely rural, marginalized peasants, reacted to and employed their own creative strategies to reformulate central policy according to their own needs?
- Finally, what are the specific environmental impacts of rapid economic and infrastructure development?
Please use the navigation links above to read more about the program. This program is not accepting applications for the 2012-2013 academic year.