UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE

Nelson K. Lee

Nelson K. Lee
Date:
10-Mar-2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Venue:
To be held virtually via Zoom
Title:
Territorial Governance and the Making of Water Supply System: The Case of Cold War Hong Kong, 1949-1979
Speaker(s):
Dr. Nelson K. Lee
Lecturer
Department of Government and Public Administration
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Please note that the Research Seminar will be held virtually via Zoom on 10 March, 2021 (Wednesday), 13:00 p.m.

Please be ready 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time.

Abstract

This work draws on the idea of territorial governance to analyze the making of water supply system. It suggests that an investigation on the socio-ecological and scaling interaction cannot lose sight of state’s action which considers “territory as a coherent unit of strategic intervention.” The theoretical framework deals with the strategy that state reorganizes the territory into a “network of active relationship” by optimizing the use of land and water resources. The case study maps the geopolitical condition that colonial Hong Kong faced during the 1949-1979 period. It explores the constraints set on water allocation and land resources within the tiny territory to achieve the necessary but contradictory goals that aimed to forestall the geopolitical challenges. It further demonstrates how a compromise of goals related to territorial management was achieved. First, a self-sufficient water supply system was created to preserve Hong Kong’s water security, upheld the effectiveness of British colonial rule. Second, farming was sustained to solve the surplus labor problem, ensure rural stability and avoid giving China an excuse to demand the retrocession of the colony.

Language: Cantonese supplemented with English

About the Speaker

Dr. Nelson K. Lee is lecturer at the Department of Government and Public Administration, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests lie in the areas of political geography and urban politics. He publishes his academic works with international refereed journals including Political Geography and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. His Chinese works appear in Ming Pao Daily News, Initium Media, Thought and Words Journal. In-depth and feature interviews of him can be found in Foreign Policy, Ming Pao Daily News, Initium Media, Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly, Commonwealth Magazine. Lee teaches the courses Politics of Space, Politics of Culture, Government of Hong Kong at the CUHK.

 

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