Search type

Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Diane Tang Lee

Thesis title

'Socialization from below - the role of Myanmar civil society in China’s adoption of environmental governance norms'


My research investigates the adoption of environmental governance norms in China's aid and investments in Myanmar. China has invested in multiple large-scale infrastructure projects in Myanmar, which face local resistance in Myanmar. While many of these contracts were signed without informing the public, Myanmar civil society demands increased transparency, accountability, and consent by local populations. These norms have not been fully adopted by China, whether in its domestic development or foreign investments. The research analyses China's adoption of these norms, the agency of Myanmar civil society in catalyzing the norm socialization process, and the interactions between them.

Research interests

China as an international development actor, public participation, stakeholder engagement, environmental governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), peacebuilding, and Myanmar civil society.

Relevant work experience

I worked in World Vision Hong Kong as a Program Officer to oversee projects mainly in Africa and South Asia. It involved reviewing proposals and monitoring emergency relief projects and community development programmes, covering sectors such as food security, water & sanitation, health, and education.

Previous education

  • Master of Social Sciences in Development Studies at City University of Hong Kong
  • BBA in Global Business & Operations Management at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Why I'm doing a PhD at HCRI

HCRI is in a unique position in partnering with practitioners and NGOs in its academic research, giving students wonderful opportunities to have interactions with leading organizations in the industry, which makes our research much more exciting. Also, the staff and students bring a wealth of different experiences with diverse academic interests, which creates a stimulating and conducive environment for research.

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    Diane Tang Lee

    'Engaging civil society as a peacebuilding agent by the Chinese state.'

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