Environmental Winds is a book about environmentalism in remote China. Working from in-depth observations recorded during his long stay in Yunnan, Michael J. Hathaway analyzes the dynamics of Chinese society through the idea of “wind,” which he uses to represent the uncertain and fluid characteristics of certain thoughts, practices, and campaigns. In this ambitious study, the author discusses various topics, from conservation and environmentalism to local people's engagement and survival tactics, the limits of the use of (ontological) dichotomy when analyzing China, the creation of indigenous space and knowledge, the role of nonhuman agency in (re)shaping social landscapes, and most important, the way people understand, interpret, absorb, and transform globalization as subjectivities emerge.

One of the central themes of this book is the relationship between Western and Chinese environmentalisms. By using the term “wind” to refer to ideas, campaigns, and practices, the...

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