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postgraduate thesis: Formation and restructuring of state space in China : a case study of Tianjin Binhai new area

TitleFormation and restructuring of state space in China : a case study of Tianjin Binhai new area
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Xu, X. [许晓霞]. (2016). Formation and restructuring of state space in China : a case study of Tianjin Binhai new area. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractRescaling of state power and the production of new state space in the Western context have brought about intense theoretical investigation of the state role in mediating socialeconomic relations. China’s strong state control has been accompanied by the deepening of neoliberal transition, which makes it a compelling case to investigate and theorize. This thesis critically examines the policies that govern the creation and selection of special economic spaces. In addition, this research uses a multi-scale spatial approach to analyze the nation state’s role in urban development and space production. Tianjin Binhai New Area was chosen as a case study to investigate the formation and restructuring of state space. Primary and secondary data were collected. The former consists of 12 face-to-face interviews with government officials and planners. The latter consists of publications, planning and design documents, internal reports and promotional materials. A critical examination found that developmental state theory and neoliberalization theory both fail to grasp the most significant characteristic of China’s urban transformation. This thesis then presents a neo-developmental framework to explain the co-existence of China’s strong state control and strong market power. This thesis examines the multi-scalar selectivity conducted by the national state. It concludes that the national state of China is still the predominant force in mediating socialeconomic activities and generating marketization strategies, given that the national state makes important decisions to select different sites for development. It is also found that the special economic spaces selected and created by the national state and local state possess greater capacity for policy innovation and higher level legislative power. Through the case of Binhai New Area, this thesis finds that local governments try their best to put scalar politics into practice to upscale local projects as national strategy. This thesis elaborates the restructuring of state space in light of the observation that the rise of New Areas in suburban areas turns the city inside out. The governance pattern transforms from old customized, task-specific and scale-specific institutional forms which separate the economic and social governance to a generalized institutional forms. In addition, the local state tries to build Yujiapu as a new financial district which reflects the local state ambition to develop from industrial space to urban space and to a regional center. Local government also wins the competition in developing the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. In summary, this thesis investigates the growth regime as China’s response to global neoliberal forces, examines the state’s multi-scalar state selectivity to elaborate the state’s role, and measures the changing state spatiality when state power articulates with liberalization. This thesis contributes to the literature by presenting a framework to explain China’s increasing marketization and paradoxically enlarged state capacity; developing a spatialized approach to analyze the state’s role in urban development; applying the scalar politics to explain how and why the state modifies urban policy to produce state space; and elaborating the restructuring of state space at the urban and sub-urban scales.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectCity planning - China - Tianjin
Dept/ProgramUrban Planning and Design
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/246693
HKU Library Item IDb5838453

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorXu, Xiaoxia-
dc.contributor.author许晓霞-
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-22T03:40:14Z-
dc.date.available2017-09-22T03:40:14Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationXu, X. [许晓霞]. (2016). Formation and restructuring of state space in China : a case study of Tianjin Binhai new area. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/246693-
dc.description.abstractRescaling of state power and the production of new state space in the Western context have brought about intense theoretical investigation of the state role in mediating socialeconomic relations. China’s strong state control has been accompanied by the deepening of neoliberal transition, which makes it a compelling case to investigate and theorize. This thesis critically examines the policies that govern the creation and selection of special economic spaces. In addition, this research uses a multi-scale spatial approach to analyze the nation state’s role in urban development and space production. Tianjin Binhai New Area was chosen as a case study to investigate the formation and restructuring of state space. Primary and secondary data were collected. The former consists of 12 face-to-face interviews with government officials and planners. The latter consists of publications, planning and design documents, internal reports and promotional materials. A critical examination found that developmental state theory and neoliberalization theory both fail to grasp the most significant characteristic of China’s urban transformation. This thesis then presents a neo-developmental framework to explain the co-existence of China’s strong state control and strong market power. This thesis examines the multi-scalar selectivity conducted by the national state. It concludes that the national state of China is still the predominant force in mediating socialeconomic activities and generating marketization strategies, given that the national state makes important decisions to select different sites for development. It is also found that the special economic spaces selected and created by the national state and local state possess greater capacity for policy innovation and higher level legislative power. Through the case of Binhai New Area, this thesis finds that local governments try their best to put scalar politics into practice to upscale local projects as national strategy. This thesis elaborates the restructuring of state space in light of the observation that the rise of New Areas in suburban areas turns the city inside out. The governance pattern transforms from old customized, task-specific and scale-specific institutional forms which separate the economic and social governance to a generalized institutional forms. In addition, the local state tries to build Yujiapu as a new financial district which reflects the local state ambition to develop from industrial space to urban space and to a regional center. Local government also wins the competition in developing the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City. In summary, this thesis investigates the growth regime as China’s response to global neoliberal forces, examines the state’s multi-scalar state selectivity to elaborate the state’s role, and measures the changing state spatiality when state power articulates with liberalization. This thesis contributes to the literature by presenting a framework to explain China’s increasing marketization and paradoxically enlarged state capacity; developing a spatialized approach to analyze the state’s role in urban development; applying the scalar politics to explain how and why the state modifies urban policy to produce state space; and elaborating the restructuring of state space at the urban and sub-urban scales.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshCity planning - China - Tianjin-
dc.titleFormation and restructuring of state space in China : a case study of Tianjin Binhai new area-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5838453-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineUrban Planning and Design-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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