Politics, Governance and its mechanism in China’s urbanism 2

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Grand Ballroom C, Astor, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Yanpeng Jiang, Nalini Mohabir, Renfeng MA
Chairs: Yanpeng Jiang


Over the last three decades, urban growth through the exploitation and development of land lies at the heart of the Chinese urbanization model. It is not surprising, therefore, that scholars writing on China have turned to growth machine theory and urban regime theory in order to make sense of is happening in Chinese cities and to relate this to trends elsewhere. However, “as a theoretical rejoinder to dominant ‘Western’ urban theories and discourses, scholars working in the context of the global south have often underscored the local uniqueness and particularities of their respective cities as a way to ‘speak back’ to Western theorization” (Pow 2012, p. 47). China’s economic and political governance suggest different, pathways to urban spaces and resources. Yet arguments about socio-political specifities should not isolate China and Chinese cities from debates about urban change, at the very least to ensure China does not become merely a series of fascinating or exceptional case studies. At the same time, it is important that China not be seen simply as a variant of dominant North American norms. In this panel, we strive to bridge the gap between the Western theory and China’s urbanism theoretically and empirically. We propose to examine the difficulties that are faced in transporting theoretical constructs out of their original U.S. context and explore in more detail the work of urban scholars who have transposed them onto a Chinese setting.

We will be organizing one or more paper sessions at next year’s AAG on ‘understanding urban China’. The paper sessions will serve as a platform to exchange scholars’ thoughts and idea regarding urban China to gain a better understanding of the political / governance mechanisms behind China’s urbanism, and to develop a timely overview of new theoretical, methodological and empirical developments in the study of China’s urbanization.

We welcome theoretical and empirical debates, as well as papers examining methodological challenges in approaching China’s urbanism. We seek to develop a Special Issue on regional comparative urbanism from papers that participate in this session. Papers may focus on, but are not limited to:

o Stakeholders and their mechanisms within Chinese mega urban projects

o Land development and land-based urban growth in China’s cities

o Urban policy and governance strategies in the process of China’s rapid urbanization

o Mapping and other governance among the key stakeholders

o Financialization of urban projects

o Urban investment and development

o Gentrification and urban renewal

o Politics and contestations in Chinese urban development


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Xiaobin Zhao*, University of Hong Kong, Megacities, the World’s Largest Cities Unleashed: Major Trends and Dynamics in Contemporary Global Urban Development 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Kam Wing Chan*, University of Washington, Urbanization with Chinese Characteristics: The Hukou System and More 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Yanpeng Jiang*, School of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Shenhong: The anatomy of an urban investment and development company in the context of china’s state corporatist urbanism 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Chengchao Zuo*, , Towards a Co-Evolutionary Model of Land Use-Transpiration-Demographic Nexus for Large Urban Agglomeration 20 11:00 AM
Discussant Roger Chan The University Of Hong Kong 5 11:20 AM
Discussant Nalini Mohabir Concordia University 5 11:25 AM

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