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postgraduate thesis: Decoding mega-events in urbanizing China : state power, capital mobilization and the reproduction of space

TitleDecoding mega-events in urbanizing China : state power, capital mobilization and the reproduction of space
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Lin, GCS
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Wu, Y. [吴翊朏]. (2018). Decoding mega-events in urbanizing China : state power, capital mobilization and the reproduction of space. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThe last two decades have witnessed a growing proliferation of hosting mega-events by Chinese municipal governments as a strategy to pursue urban development, which has attracted considerable attention from scholars within and outside of China. Existing literature has been preoccupied with concerns over the costs and benefits of hosting mega-events for the local economy and society. The social and political underpinnings of practicing the mega-event strategy and the implications for capital mobilization as well as spatial transformation remain controversial and vague. Drawing upon insights from the political economy perspective, this thesis introduces a novel conceptual framework for understanding the Chinese practice of hosting mega-events and evaluating its economic, social and spatial effects. This research focuses on the pattern, processes, causes and consequences of hosting mega-events in Chinese cities. The mega-event strategy owes its origins to the restructuring of state power that compelled local states to enhance its capacity of capital mobilization and space reproduction. Contrary to conventional wisdom, hosting mega-events has not led directly and significantly to better economic performance. My statistical analysis reveals that host cities have mobilized more capital from commercial banks and invest more in infrastructure construction than non-hosting cities. My further investigation of the Asian Games in Guangzhou and the Olympics in Beijing uncovers that the diverse operational mechanism of capital mobilization and space reproduction has been contingent upon region-specific conditions. In Guangzhou, the mega-event strategy has been locally driven in response to ever-changing politico-economic conditions. The state’s capability of mobilizing money was realized via government financing platforms and bank loans. The municipal government was extensively involved in space reproduction. In Beijing, the initiatives of hosting the Olympics originated from top-down. Apart from the central state’s motivation to showcase China’s economic achievement, local officials also intended to strengthen their ability for infrastructure investment and prompt the restructuring of urban space. Due to Beijing’s unique administrative status, the municipal government enjoyed more preferential policies so as to adopt a model of public-private partnership for financing but had less autonomy when exercising control over space. The mega-events in Guangzhou and Beijing have successfully mobilized sufficient money for infrastructure construction. However, there exists a considerable danger of local debts despite the momentary stimulus to urban economic growth. Hosting mega-events is essentially a strategy to prolong the cycle of economic growth/decline by a concentrated and pre-committed utilization of financial resources taken away from the future and elsewhere. The preparation work has resulted in the social marginalization of laid-off workers and the exclusion of the migrant population. The theoretical and empirical enquiry in this thesis identifies capital mobilization as an important aspect of state power and incorporates local states as active players in the investigation of mega-event strategies. Practically, the main findings of this thesis provide a reference for local authorities to make effective decision and policies related to the organization and hosting of mega-events and calls for special consideration of underprivileged population when planning for future mega-events.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectChina - Special events
China - Hosting of sporting events - Social apects
Sociology, Urban - China
Dept/ProgramGeography
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/268441

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLin, GCS-
dc.contributor.authorWu, Yifei-
dc.contributor.author吴翊朏-
dc.date.accessioned2019-03-21T01:40:25Z-
dc.date.available2019-03-21T01:40:25Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationWu, Y. [吴翊朏]. (2018). Decoding mega-events in urbanizing China : state power, capital mobilization and the reproduction of space. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/268441-
dc.description.abstractThe last two decades have witnessed a growing proliferation of hosting mega-events by Chinese municipal governments as a strategy to pursue urban development, which has attracted considerable attention from scholars within and outside of China. Existing literature has been preoccupied with concerns over the costs and benefits of hosting mega-events for the local economy and society. The social and political underpinnings of practicing the mega-event strategy and the implications for capital mobilization as well as spatial transformation remain controversial and vague. Drawing upon insights from the political economy perspective, this thesis introduces a novel conceptual framework for understanding the Chinese practice of hosting mega-events and evaluating its economic, social and spatial effects. This research focuses on the pattern, processes, causes and consequences of hosting mega-events in Chinese cities. The mega-event strategy owes its origins to the restructuring of state power that compelled local states to enhance its capacity of capital mobilization and space reproduction. Contrary to conventional wisdom, hosting mega-events has not led directly and significantly to better economic performance. My statistical analysis reveals that host cities have mobilized more capital from commercial banks and invest more in infrastructure construction than non-hosting cities. My further investigation of the Asian Games in Guangzhou and the Olympics in Beijing uncovers that the diverse operational mechanism of capital mobilization and space reproduction has been contingent upon region-specific conditions. In Guangzhou, the mega-event strategy has been locally driven in response to ever-changing politico-economic conditions. The state’s capability of mobilizing money was realized via government financing platforms and bank loans. The municipal government was extensively involved in space reproduction. In Beijing, the initiatives of hosting the Olympics originated from top-down. Apart from the central state’s motivation to showcase China’s economic achievement, local officials also intended to strengthen their ability for infrastructure investment and prompt the restructuring of urban space. Due to Beijing’s unique administrative status, the municipal government enjoyed more preferential policies so as to adopt a model of public-private partnership for financing but had less autonomy when exercising control over space. The mega-events in Guangzhou and Beijing have successfully mobilized sufficient money for infrastructure construction. However, there exists a considerable danger of local debts despite the momentary stimulus to urban economic growth. Hosting mega-events is essentially a strategy to prolong the cycle of economic growth/decline by a concentrated and pre-committed utilization of financial resources taken away from the future and elsewhere. The preparation work has resulted in the social marginalization of laid-off workers and the exclusion of the migrant population. The theoretical and empirical enquiry in this thesis identifies capital mobilization as an important aspect of state power and incorporates local states as active players in the investigation of mega-event strategies. Practically, the main findings of this thesis provide a reference for local authorities to make effective decision and policies related to the organization and hosting of mega-events and calls for special consideration of underprivileged population when planning for future mega-events.-
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.lcshChina - Special events-
dc.subject.lcshChina - Hosting of sporting events - Social apects-
dc.subject.lcshSociology, Urban - China -
dc.titleDecoding mega-events in urbanizing China : state power, capital mobilization and the reproduction of space-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineGeography-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2019-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044091305903414-

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