China's Urban Transformation: a Neo-Liberal Confucianism Perspective, by Prof Ya Ping Wang, 4 October 2018

Ya Ping Wang
University of Glasgow
4.30pm, Thursday 4 October 2018
Room 122, 29 Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow
China has been in a fast urbanisation process in the last thirty years. Researchers applied various theories and frameworks to understand this dramatic and unprecedented urban transformation. Of the most commonly adopted theories, neoliberalism, focusing on the political economies of state-market relation, provides an important lens of critical analysis. China’s urban development however has shown many unique features that could not be easily explained from the perspectives of neo-liberalism. The excessive trend of centralization and property-led development in top ranked cities, the production of uniformed and homogenous residential areas with very high building height and density, the persistence of the hukou effects, the continuous prominence of the work unit system, and the emerging new patterns of urban community management and governance, for example, are distinctive characteristics accompanying China’s urban transformation. This paper examines some of these key features of urban changes and discusses their linkage to the dominant Chinese culture – Confucianism. It demonstrates that the combination of views from both neo-liberalism and Confucianism provides a better theoretical framework and approach to understand China’s urbanisation and the China development model.
Professor Ya Ping Wang is Chair in Global City Futures in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on Chinese housing and urban development.
The SCCR seminar series is supported by the MacFie Bequest.

First published: 3 October 2018

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