It is in recent years that the spread of private neighbourhoods in Chinese cities has drawn attention in academics. Driven by the increasingly neoliberal urbanism, traditional governmental functions on housing management have been shifted to property management companies (PMCs), albeit they are not part of the state bureaucracy. Meanwhile, as tensions between PMCs and homeowners grew rapidly, dissatisfied homeowners not only take consumer activism but also establish homeowner associations (HOAs) to defend their property rights. However, the social and political implications of the burgeoning HOAs in China have not been fully explored.
By analysing the evolving process and uneven development of HOAs in Guangzhou, this research attempts to fill this gap in our understanding by asking three questions. First, how does HOA emerge in the conjuncture of shifting state-market-society relations and in turn reshape the complex inter-relationships? Second, how does the (local) state penetrate the operation of HOAs and how do HOAs respond to these top-down regulations? Third, how does the performance of HOAs vary with respect to its interactions with the market actors (PMCs) and the (local) state?
Key words: homeowner association, neighbourhood governance, private governance, infrastructural power, state-market-society relations, China
About the Speaker:
Miss Rong CAI is a PhD student at Department of Urban Planning and Design. Prior to joining the Department in 2016, she obtained a Bachelor Degree in Public Administration and a Master Degree in Land Resource Management from Sun Yat-sen University. Her research interests rest in neighbourhood governance (e.g. private neighbourhoods and homeowner association) and urban politics (e.g. state power and urban activism).
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