Abstract: [Purpose/significance] The current environmental challenges have become sensitive social and political issues in China. Sorting out existing environmental regulations have important implications for environmental regulation practices and theoretical development. [Method/process] This paper took 1473 CNKI core journal articles in the field of environmental regulation from January 1, 1998 to July 2, 2019 in China as analysis samples，used Citespace visual analysis method for time slicing，and took the keywords as the core，based on the hotspot cluster analysis，clarified the research evolution of environmental regulation and predicted future development trends to explore future research directions in the field of environmental regulation. [Result/conclusion]The research in the field of environmental regulation relies on the Porter hypothesis, environmental Kuznets curve, evolutionary game and other theoretical foundations, and mainly uses the spatial Dubin model, directional distance function and other research methods to analyze the field of environmental regulation in different periods. At present, research in the field of environmental regulation mostly focuses on the relationship between environmental regulation and technological innovation, economic development, industrial competitiveness, industrial structure, etc., but ignores the optimization of the environmental system, the degree of implementation of the environmental system by enterprises, regional differences in the environment, and the important role of cooperation between private organizations and the government in environmental governance, etc. Therefore, these have also become the development trend in the field of environmental regulation in the future.
Keywords: environmental regulation; knowledge map; cluster analysis; porter hypothesis