Existing literature suggests that community residents and organizations were excluded from decision-making processes in urban redevelopment and residential relocation in China under neoliberal governance. This study examines why the municipal government adopts the new regulations on citizen participation in housing requisition and what roles the local government and community residents play. It argues that the adoption of the public participation scheme in housing requisition is an effort of the local government to legitimize displacement, and avoid controversy and dissent among the community. Scholars are still unclear about the underlying mechanism through which civil society can emerge in (post-)socialist regimes. The underlying causes of the symbolic change of the housing requisition projects and its impacts on local governance have been unexplored. Participatory urban redevelopment is found to be rhetorical and symbolic by nature. Findings of this research help identify a new path of theorization concerning state-society relations going beyond the state-market dynamism that has dominated the theory of neoliberal urbanism.
About the Speaker
Dr. Zhumin XU is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include housing requisition involving public participation schemes, inner-city redevelopment and local governance, public housing, and mega-projects. Xu holds a PhD degree in Urban Studies from University of New Orleans. Her dissertation topic focused on urban governance and community participation in residential relocations in globalizing Shanghai. She has published in journals, monographs and government reports.
Prof. George C. S. LIN is a Chair Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Red Capitalism in South China: Growth and Development of the Pearl River Delta (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997) and Developing China: Land, Politics, and Social Conditions (London: Routledge, 2009) and co-author of China’s Urban Space: Development Under Market Socialism (London: Routledge, 2007), as well as the author or co-author of many articles. His research interests include China’s urbanization, land management, and urban redevelopments.
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