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Title: Changing regional governance in China : a case study of the Yangtze River Delta
Author: Li, Yi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 655X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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Urban entrepreneurialism and intensive inter-city competition prevails in post-reform China, which has been extensively documented in the literature. However, decentralisation is not the overall characterisation of China's changing central-local relationship since 1978. The aim of this research is to present various types of 'regionalisation' initiatives and examine the development of regional governance in China With reference to the Western theoretical perspective of state spatiality, state rescaling and politics of scale, this study develops a research framework to examine the changing scale of governance and explore the engagement and motivations of different actors. In this study, after an overall examination of recent regional practices in China, Yangtze River Delta (YRD) is treated as a laboratory to investigate the dynamics and politics around the building of regional governance. In addition to a large amount of relevant material and publications on regional policies, regional plans, administrative changes and collaborative practices, semi-structured interviews with involved academics, planning professionals and government officials are conducted to investigate the actual transformation process of regional governance. Since the mid 2000s, the economic development and agglomeration in the YRD has created more scope, as well as a need for collaboration. It seems regional collaboration is valued and driven by both central and local government. Nevertheless, in terms of institutional arrangements, there has been no formal regional institution or informal regional coalition thus far. Moreover, both the bottom-up and the top-down regional governance initiatives lack substantial participation and multilateral negotiation between cities. There are essentially two different readings of the rationale of regional governance. While the bottom-up collaborative development is envisioned by the local entrepreneurial government to use regional competitiveness to promote local development, the top-down national and regional agenda is used by the central government to tackle discretionary local development. Therefore, the emerging regional governance in the YRD is hybrid and complicated. The building of regional governance in China is contested by complex inter-governmental politics, especially the division of central-local power and responsibility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available