Lei  Xie Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Lei Xie

Professor in Governance
Shandong University; University of Nottingham (UK)

Lei Xie's research focuses on environmental governance and sustainability, with particular interest in water diplomacy and water security policies in Southern countries. Lei leads China Water Governance Program at Institute of Governance, SDU, member of Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD), which is based at University of Geveva. Lei has been invited to lecture in UNEP organized capacity building course on climate change related water issues to diplomats.


Lei Xie received her PhD from Wageningen University. She also holds a MPhil from the Chinese University of HK and BA in Politics and Economics (double major) from Peking University.
Before joining Shandong University, she lectured in Politics at University of Exeter as Assistant Professor and was a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China Institute of International Studies, Shanghai. She is author of Environmental Activism in China (Routledge, 2009).

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Lei Xie's research focuses on global environmental governance and transnational environmental movement with particular interest on the international cooperation of transbondary river basins. She has developed inter-disciplinary research on subjects of politics, international relations as well as geography and environmental management. Her interests in area studies of India and Kazakhstan as well as China studies.

Personal Interests

    In her spare time, Lei loves sports, e.g. cycling and tennis. She also enjoys performing Chinese calligraphy.



Featured Title
 Featured Title - China's International Transboundary Rivers - Xie (PBD) - 1st Edition book cover


Conservation and Society

Urban environmentalism and activists’ networks in China: the cases of Hubei and Shanghai

Published: Aug 14, 2019 by Conservation and Society
Authors: Lei Xie and Peter Ho
Subjects: Sociology, Area Studies

Despite China's repressive environment, the public, organised by ENGOs, are represented in local environmental governance; their voices are articulated and policy-making is affected. Empirical findings from ENGOs demonstrate that envi­ronmental activism is not an activity with a fair degree of autonomy and self-regulation, but occupies a social space that is enmeshed in a web of interpersonal relations and informal/formal rules between po­litical and social actors.

China-India Brief No. 138, National Singapore University

Will China and India Wage War Over Water?

Published: May 16, 2019 by China-India Brief No. 138, National Singapore University
Authors: Lei Xie
Subjects: Area Studies

China and India are respectively located on the upstream and midstream of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. Both countries have taken to using these shared water resources at different levels of intensity. The friction arising from their water sharing dispute has not received much attention. Nevertheless, both nations’ approaches to securitizing their shared water resources make this issue a time-bomb for Sino-India relations.

China and the World

Dilemmatic Resource Governance: China’s Balancing Act to Share Rivers

Published: Apr 14, 2019 by China and the World
Authors: Lei Xie
Subjects: Political Science, Area Studies, Environment and Sustainability

This paper examines a dilemmatic situation that great powers are faced with the participation in international environmental cooperation. Changes occur in China’s international water policy including the establishment of the multi-lateral mechanism. This paper concludes that China’s policy developments in resource governance facilitate China to promote coordinated actions over the shared water resources. Such balancing acts serve to legitimize China’s dominance over the Mekong river basin.

Eurasian Geography and Economics

Can China lead in multilateral environmental negotiations? Internal politics, self-depiction, and China’s contribution in climate change regime and Mekong governance

Published: Feb 19, 2019 by Eurasian Geography and Economics
Authors: Wei Shen and Lei Xie
Subjects: Geography , Sociology & Social Policy, Area Studies, Environment and Sustainability

The impacts of China’s intensified efforts to engage in regional and global environmental governance is widely noted and debated. In this paper, we examine two cases of multinational environmental negotiations, where China exhibited leadership potential. We argue that China exhibited both determination and commitment to shape the course and outcome of the negotiations, whilst applying two clearly different strategies.

China Information

Food safety, agro industries, and China’s international trade: A standard-based approach

Published: Jun 27, 2018 by China Information
Authors: Louis Augustin-Jean and Lei Xie
Subjects: Sociology, Environment and Agriculture

This article argues that China has assumed a more proactive role in reframing international standards of agro-food markets in general and food safety in particular, despite existing problems in its domestic food markets. China is using different strategies and methods to redesign the shape of international trade.

Global water forum

China’s water policy and the sharing of international rivers in Asia

Published: Mar 21, 2018 by Global water forum
Authors: Lei Xie and Shaofeng Jia
Subjects: Political Science, Area Studies

One of the critical determinants of Asia’s future is the sustainable management of transboundary water resources to guarantee water security for growing populations under a changing climate. As an upstream state, China’s international water policy is at the core of Asia’s water security. Two leading Chinese water experts, Prof. Jia Shaofeng and Dr. Lei Xie, spoke with GWF about their new book and China’s water policy.

China dialogue

Kazakhstan focusses on water efficiency to ease water tensions with China

Published: Feb 17, 2018 by China dialogue
Authors: Lei Xie and Shaofeng Jia
Subjects: Political Science, Area Studies

Policymakers in Kazakhstan shift focus to domestic water saving measures to reduce reliance on river water flowing from China

New Political Economy

The political economy for low-carbon energy transition in China: towards a new policy paradigm

Published: Sep 14, 2017 by New Political Economy
Authors: Wei Shen and Lei Xie
Subjects: Political Science, Area Studies, Environment and Sustainability

By presenting the institutional arrangement and interest constellations of China’s regulatory system of renewable energy sectors, this paper argues that the reasons for China’s swift expansion of wind and solar energy investment go beyond the notion of a state-led model. A new policy paradigm is emerging that is largely different from the previous decades of policy orientation that centred on capacity expansion and instrumental interests for renewable energy development.

Journal of Contemporary China

Mismatched diplomacy: China-India water relations over the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Basin

Published: Aug 21, 2017 by Journal of Contemporary China
Authors: Lei Xie, Yanbing Zhang and Jagannath Panda
Subjects: Area Studies, Environment and Sustainability

This article sheds light on the nature, forms and outcomes of China’s diplomacy over transboundary water resources. Water diplomacy bears unique and complex features and approaches for forming cooperative partnerships in the contextual settings where it is developed. By surveying the development and effectiveness of water diplomacy, it argues that water diplomacy is unlikely to succeed in conditions where power relations are unstable, or among countries experiencing low economic growth.

Water Policy

When Do Institutions Work? A Comparison of Two Water Disputes Over the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers Basins submitted to Water Policy

Published: Aug 15, 2017 by Water Policy
Authors: Lei Xie, We Shen and Muhammad Rahaman
Subjects: Political Science, Geography , Environment and Sustainability

This article aims to identify links between the formation of water management institutions (WMIs) and the outcomes of such institutional cooperation. It concludes that in the context of the global South, where foreign relations are unstable and countries’ reliance on river basins varied, building trust and balancing interests over water management are especially important to the formation of effective institutional arrangements.

International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics

Diplomatic water cooperation: the case of Sino-India dispute over Brahmaputra

Published: Nov 09, 2016 by International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
Authors: Lei Xie and ShaoFeng Jia

This article adopts the case study of resource management dispute over GBM and investigates the significance of the arrangement to share hydrological data resulting from Sino-Indian diplomacy. It argues that India and China have developed a form of preliminary cooperation through the sharing of water data to resolve disputes. Relating to the geographical features of the shared river-water resolution is substantially affected by historic tensions.

Asian Journal of WTO and International Health and Policy

Food safety standards and market regulations as elements of competition-case studies from China’s international trade

Published: Oct 09, 2016 by Asian Journal of WTO and International Health and Policy
Authors: Louis Augustin-Jean and Lei Xie
Subjects: Sociology, Area Studies

Using the theories of the sociology of markets and of the Economics of Convention, this article argues that far from just being neutral, technical tools, norms and standards are important elements of competition among firms and countries. This theoretical framework is particularly helpful for analyzing how China is now trying to reshape the rules of international trade, after decades of first learning and then making use of these rules.

China Information

Environmental governance and public participation in rural China

Published: Jun 30, 2016 by China Information
Authors: Lei Xie
Subjects: Sociology, Area Studies

This comparative study of public participation in environmental management focuses on grass-roots initiatives that point to increasing public enthusiasm for policymaking processes. It concludes that participatory practices have impacted significantly upon environmental governance by facilitating implementation and bettering policy and, to a certain extent, legitimizing the discretion of environmental protection agencies.

Asian Politics and Policy

China’s Environmental Activism in the Age of Globalization

Published: Apr 12, 2011 by Asian Politics and Policy
Authors: Lei Xie
Subjects: Political Science, Sociology, Area Studies, Environment and Sustainability

This article explores the impact of globalization on China's environmental activism. It concludes that Chinese environmental activists have been actively interacting with the transnational environmental movement. However, Chinese involvement in the transnational environmental movement is still limited, owing to China's political conditions as well as the movement's early stage of development.

Social Movement Studies

Environmental movements and political opportunities: the case of China

Published: Jan 13, 2010 by Social Movement Studies
Authors: Lei Xie and H. A. van der Heijden

Political opportunity structures (POSs) largely determine the different impacts of environmental and other social movements in political and policy-making processes. It is argued that POSs in capitalist and (post-)socialist countries basically share the same set of core variables. During the last fifteen years China's POS has changed dramatically in terms of access points for social movements.