Political-economy based institutional industry complex and sustainable development : The case of the salt-chemical industry in Huai'an, China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Journal / PublicationEnergy Policy
Online published5 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


This article explains how the salt-chemical industry may evolve over time from a high-energy consumption-based industry complex in the local community to a consolidated pro-growth pluralist regime at the urban scale. The salt-chemical industry is resisting to restructure to a sustainable, environmental-friendly economic system by spilling over in the form of pro-growth political-economic coalition in local society. Theories of the Logan and Molotch's growth machine, Stone's urban regime, together with the extension of Unruh's thesis concerning the characteristics of lock-in in the technological or institutional economics approach were used to propose an enlarged lock-in political-economic framework and pro-growth Institutional Industry Complex (IIC). It is further used to explain the consensus building of the pro-growth governance. A study of the Salt-chemical and New Material Industry Park in the Huai'an Metropolitan Area, China, serves as an illustrative case. The article also suggests that the path-dependence followed in constructing a pro-growth coalition could serve as a program to unlock the pro-growth Institutional Industry Complex of salt-chemical industry and foster the anti-coalition needed.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Institutional Industry Complex (IIC), Salt-chemical industry