Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (1): 92-102.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.01.011

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Governance Logic and Basic Systems of the New “Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China”: a Focus on Social Co-Governance

WANG Xu*   

  1. Law School, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2017-03-27 Revised:2017-11-12 Online:2018-01-30 Published:2018-01-26
  • Contact: WANG Xu, E-mail: xu_wang1981@126.com
  • Supported by:
    FORHEAD with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)

Abstract: To modernize food safety governance, we must carry out basic restructuring of its internal logic at the national level to reflect the features of contemporary Chinese society that shape food safety. This will entail establishing an overarching, macro-level conception of food safety that integrates “baseline safety”, “hub safety”, “co-constructed safety” and “endogenous safety”. These four dimensions of safety represent four fundamental requirements of food safety governance in modern Chinese society, which is a “risk society” (Beck 1992) and one that is also complex, open and pluralist. These requirements are: maximum legal liability, a unified, authoritative and efficient supervision system, a concept of social co-governance, and enterprises being the primary entities accountable for food safety. This article uses this analytical framework to interpret the basic contents of the newly revised Food Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China, and uses a focus on social co-governance to present the institutional highlights of this law and the transformation of the internal logic of food safety governance.

Key words: food safety governance, Food Safety Law of the PRC, social co-governance, supervision system, whole process supervision