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This book examines the decade from 2004 to 2013 during which people in China witnessed both a skyrocketing number of food safety crises, and aggregating regulatory initiatives attempting to control these crises. Multiple cycles of “crisis – regulatory efforts” indicated the systemic failure of this food safety regime. The book explains this failure in the “social foundations” for the regulatory governance of food safety. It locates the proximate causes in the regulatory segmentation, which is supported by the differential impacts of the food regulatory regime on various consumer groups. The approach of regulatory segmentation does not only explain the failure of the food safety regime by digging out its social foundation, but is also crucial to the understanding of the regulatory state in China.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
This introductory chapter presents the key research question, the conceptual framework, and the chapter structure of the book. Through introducing the major research question, Zhou explains why she argues that the social foundation of the regulatory segmentation is the crucial issue of the systemic regulatory failure of the food safety regime in China.
Guanqi Zhou

2. From Regulation to Systemic Regulatory Failure

Abstract
Zhou presents a literature review in Chapter 2 on regulation, risk regulation regimes, food safety regulations, the regulatory state and segmentation in China, and the social foundation of the fragmentation of consumer groups. This review reveals a gap in the regulatory research through segmentation approach among the existing arguments concerning the establishment of the regulatory state in the global South in general and in China in particular. This is a gap that Zhou will focus on through the case study of the regulatory regime of food safety in China. Focusing on the regulatory segmentation, this review will also reveal and develop the argument why this segmentation, based on consumer fragmentation, is the crucial reason for the systemic failure of the food safety regime in China.
Guanqi Zhou

3. Towards a Conceptual Framework for Regulatory Regime and Methods

Abstract
Zhou uses and modifies the model of risk regulatory regime to explain the relationship between regulatory segmentation and systemic failure of the food safety regime in China, and this chapter introduces this conceptual framework. Moreover, she emphasizes the political and economic context of China in which the food safety regime is embedded, specifically examining how social class divisions impacted on the fragmentation of consumer groups through each group’s access to economic and political resources. This became the fundamental factor in shaping and stabilizing the regulatory segmentation of the food safety regime, and is the core of this book.
Guanqi Zhou

4. From Establishment to Failure: The Regulatory Regime of Food Safety in China

Abstract
Chapter 4 analyses how the current food safety regime gradually emerged and how regulatory segmentation has been created, stabilized and streamlined over time. The period from 1949 to 2013 is divided into four stages and each stage is analyzed through the key regulatory changes that occurred, with special attention paid to the formation of the regulatory segmentation. Zhou emphasizes the regulatory structure of the food safety regime during the last stage from 2004 to 2013 (the main research period to be analyzed). The key point Zhou wants to convey is that the regulatory segmentation of food safety regime in China has been based on the political and economic positions of consumer groups, and has been embedded historically and stabilized over time.
Guanqi Zhou

5. Food Safety Crises in China

Abstract
In Chapter 5, Zhou reviews the food safety crises that have occurred over the past four decades, focusing on the decade from 2004 to 2013. She identifies seven categories of food risks that occurred mainly in Chinese domestic food market. The majority of them, both in category and number, had the most impact upon ordinary domestic consumers, especially the vulnerable and the poor from the lower and lower-middle classes in underdeveloped regions. The key contention of this chapter is that such varying food safety levels and unevenly distributed food risks are effects of regulatory segmentation, which further created differential impacts on each of these fragmented consumer groups. And this differential impact is at the heart of the research problem in this book.
Guanqi Zhou

6. Segmented Food Safety Standard Setting

Abstract
In Chapter 6, Zhou analyses the regulatory segmentation in the first regime component, food safety standard-setting, as outlined in the model of risk regulatory regime. In China, food safety standards have been segmented in respect to the group of foreign consumers and the domestic food sector by way of standards’ rigidity and the level of protection that is offered to consumers. This segmentation creates a higher safety benchmark for food for foreign consumers, and guarantees that they are better taken care of in most cases. Zhou supports this argument with an illustrative case that compares tea exported from China with tea consumed in domestic food market, which demonstrates the substantial gap in the safety benchmarks for tea consumed by these two different groups.
Guanqi Zhou

7. Communication or Miscommunication: Food Safety Information

Abstract
Chapter 7 focuses on the regulatory segmentation of food risk information communication, which has created segmented access to information for the fragmented consumer groups. This means better access to this public good for the politically privileged, foreign consumers and affluent consumers. In comparison, ordinary domestic consumers have had the worst access to food risk information, driving them to alternative information sources, which further caused fundamental problems of distrust towards food regulators, negative food risk perception and risk amplification among the group. Through the case of cadmium-polluted rice, Zhou argues that the regulatory segmentation in food risk information communication changed the nature of food safety information as a public good: rather than being provided to all consumers alike, it became accessible only to some.
Guanqi Zhou

8. Understanding the Failure of Food Safety Regulatory Implementation

Abstract
Chapter 8 analyses the impact of regulatory segmentation on behaviour modification and how it incurred different patterns of regulatory implementation for various fragmented consumer groups. Zhou points out that effective implementation of food safety standards and regulations are determined by the interaction between food consumers, producers and regulators. In particular, food consumers can influence such regulatory implementation through the exercise of their political and economic power. Zhou demonstrated that the group of ordinary domestic consumers, who are politically powerless and economically poor, failed to influence effective food safety implementation by producers and regulators, making them the major victims of several systematic biases within the segmented implementation of regulations. And this argument is supported with the case of adulterated cooking oil at the end of the chapter.
Guanqi Zhou

9. Conclusion

Abstract
This concluding chapter reiterates the key argument of the book: regulatory segmentation in the food safety regime, driven by social class-based consumer fragmentation, is pivotal in contributing to the failure of the regime. While revisiting the accesses of four fragmented consumer groups to food of differential safety level, Zhou highlights the social foundation for such differences. Zhou also points out, as some implications from this book, that the segmentation approach is crucial in designing and promoting policy reforms in China, and in understanding the regulatory state with Chinese characteristics in a broader picture.
Guanqi Zhou

Backmatter

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